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SAN FERNANDO VALLEY : 3 Men Plead Guilty in Cocaine Ring Case

Three men who police say were masterminds of a San Fernando Valley-based cocaine trafficking ring known as the Monkey Boys have pleaded guilty to reduced drug charges.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, Carlos (Big Carlos) Rivera and top associate David (Crockett) Lara will each be sentenced to eight years in prison, and Richard R. Inouye will be sentenced to six years.

Rivera and Lara, both 28, also will lose expensive sports cars they had bought with drug money as part of the complicated settlement, their lawyers said. Until their arrests, authorities say, Rivera and dozens of associates made millions from the sale of cocaine and marijuana.

Police say they used their profits to live the lives of moguls, spending their days on the golf course and evenings in nightclubs. Within the past two years, dozens of alleged Monkey Boys have been arrested, including a man suspected of heading the distribution arm of the organization.

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When Rivera, Lara and Inouye were arrested in early August, police confiscated 31 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $1.4 million and five pounds of marijuana from a Studio City apartment.


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