Brothers Sentenced in High-Flying Coast-to-Coast Cocaine Ring

They used chartered jets to ship cocaine and cash between Los Angeles and Baltimore.

Two brothers who headed a drug trafficking ring that used chartered jets to ship cocaine and cash between Los Angeles and Baltimore were sentenced Tuesday to federal prison.

Ricky "DP" James Brascom, 29, of Woodland Hills, and Jerome "Bro-Bro" Mondale Brascom, 31, of Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The younger Brascom was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real, who sentenced the elder brother to six years, prosecutors said.

The brothers were among 14 defendants indicted in 2010 on drug trafficking and money laundering charges stemming from a seven-month investigation that federal officials dubbed "Operation Snow Bird."

Prosecutors said the probe focused on a Hollywood-based smuggling ring that used the moniker Behind da Scenes Entertainment and had ties to the hip-hop worlds on both coasts.

The ring purchased large quantities of cocaine, arranged for it to be flown from the Los Angeles area to Baltimore, oversaw distribution of the cocaine and flew suitcases of cash back to Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Heriberto Lopez, 42, of Chatsworth, who was also known as ''The Boss'' and ''Big Dog,'' was allegedly the Brascoms' primary cocaine supplier, prosecutors said in November 2010. He was arrested and is under indictment.

During a six-week period that concluded with the arrest of the Brascom brothers and others, investigators obtained evidence that the organization was responsible for moving more than 390 kilograms of cocaine and well over $4 million in drug cash, according to federal prosecutors.

During the same period, investigators seized about 298 kilograms of cocaine, $1.1 million in cash and luxury cars including two 2010 Aston Martin Rapides, a 2008 Mercedes CL63 AMG and a 2009 BMW 750Li, prosecutors said.

The seven-count federal indictment included charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, conspiracy to launder money and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The indictment also sought the forfeiture of items related to the drug conspiracy, including cash and weapons.

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-- City News Service


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