Three men were indicted by a federal grand jury this week on charges of conspiring to sell 100 pounds of methamphetamine at a Huntington Beach hotel.
Rami Haddad, 38, of Costa Mesa; Steven Barragan, 37, of Montebello; and Ernest Tyrone Walton Jr., 37, of Anaheim are charged with conspiracy to distribute 100 pounds of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 88 pounds of methamphetamine, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Haddad also is charged with using a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and knowingly distributing 9.9 pounds of methamphetamine.
On Jan. 16, Haddad agreed to sell about 10 pounds of methamphetamine for more than $15,000, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit accompanying Tuesday’s indictment. Before making the sale, the affidavit states, Haddad asked the buyer to meet him at his home and during that meeting showed a .38-caliber revolver.
Prosecutors allege Haddad later delivered the narcotic to the buyer, who was staying at the Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort.
On Jan. 28, the affidavit alleges, Haddad told the buyer he had contacted his supplier to order an additional 100 pounds of meth. Law enforcement agents said they observed Haddad and Walton walk out of Haddad’s home and load boxes into Walton’s car to complete the deal, also at the Kimpton Shorebreak.
Haddad was arrested after entering the hotel’s lobby, and Walton was arrested nearby, according to court papers.
The FBI seized 88 pounds of meth, authorities said.
After his arrest, the affidavit states, Haddad told law enforcement he obtained the meth through Barragan. The document says the two discussed diluting the drug to make the shipment appear larger than it was. Authorities allege Haddad also admitted to packaging the narcotic in small plastic bags for sale.
According to the affidavit, the FBI caught a Philadelphia drug dealer making several trips to Orange County and shipping bulk methamphetamine back to Pennsylvania from a supplier in Costa Mesa. The unidentified person agreed to cooperate with law enforcement by buying drugs from Haddad in return for a lighter sentence, the affidavit states.
Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined further comment Thursday.
Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.