ATF Agents Use Fake Rap Label to Make Arrests in Massive Sting Operation

Undercover bust uncovers $7.2 million in drugs and 161 guns.

 

Posted: 12/20/2011 08:03 PM EST

These days everyone wants to be a rapper, even the police.

 

In a sting operation that lasted one year and resulted in 70 arrests and the confiscation of 161 weapons and $7.2 million in drugs, the Washington D.C. Police and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms impersonated a fictional rapper and his industry partners.

 

According to Allhiphop.com, officers went undercover as “music industry insiders.” They established the Manic Enterprises studio as the home base of fictional rapper Richi Valdez and sought to purchase weapons and drugs via the streets and black market.

 

“If these drugs and guns had made it to our streets, the impact would have been devastating to community,” Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a press release on Monday.

 

“This was an extremely dangerous operation. These suspects had bragged about other violent crimes they had committed and had no qualms about killing police officers, guards and other innocent people,” Chief Lanier continued. “All the law enforcement members involved in this operation are to be commended for their bravery.”

 

Located in a rowhouse in Northeast Washington, the recording studio was monitored by hidden audio and video equipment as the undercover officers made black market deals. At one point the investigation went so deep that it led authorities to Atlanta to meet with alleged affiliates of the infamous Mexican drug cartel “La Familia.”

 

“These investigations have proven very effective in targeting criminals and keeping drugs and guns off our community’s streets,” said US Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. “The US Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners and the citizens of the District of Columbia to bringing those who traffic in narcotics and firearms to justice.”

 

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(Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

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