• April 13, 2004: Los and Roosevelt Dahda are bedevilled of federal biologic and weapons charges.
• Sept. 19, 2005: Los is appear from prison.
• August 2008: William F. Garcia tells Lawrence badge Los is ambidextrous drugs in the city.
• Nov. 29, 2010: Roosevelt is appear from prison.
• October 2011: An adviser leads badge to a marijuana supplier angry to Los.
• Jan. 4, 2012: Federal adjudicator signs a eavesdrop adjustment for Los’ corpuscle phone.
• June 11, 2012: Federal prosecutors in Kansas City, Kan., name the Dahda brothers and 22 added bodies in a bent complaint.
• June 13, 2012: Badge arrest the Dahdas and abundant others in Douglas and Johnson counties.
• July 11, 2012: Federal prosecutors arraign 19 added defendants in the case.
• Nov. 9, 2012: U.S. Marshals accomplish several arrests in California.
• March 16, 2013: Twenty-nine of 43 defendants are bedevilled of biologic trafficking and accompanying charges. Others anticipate trial.
Click actuality for an all-embracing timeline of the case.
Police decoded abounding agreement acclimated by those complex in the case who abhorred application incriminating words such as marijuana, pounds or alike money. Actuality are a few of those codes:
• “Hit me”: A appeal that addition alarm aback on a prepaid cellphone.
• “Short stops”: Biologic deliveries and pickups.
• “Scratch”: Money.
• “Box of parts”: Acclimated to alarm money larboard at a home.
• “Pop the top”: Referenced aperture up a abstruse alcove in a barter that was ambuscade drugs or money.
• “Wheels”: High-grade marijuana.
• “Work” and “hours”: Drugs to be distributed.
• “Rack”: $1,000.
• “Oil filters,” “cases,” “brochures” “phones” “gears” and “pamphlets”: drugs.
• Los Rovell Dahda, 31, Lawrence: Born Erick Wallace, he is answerable with actuality a arch organizer of a biologic administration arena in Lawrence, forth with his accompanying brother. He allegedly formed with added breadth dealers to buy hundreds of pounds of marijuana from growers in Arctic California and administer them locally. He has not been bedevilled in this case and charcoal in federal aegis as he awaits a balloon appointed for summer 2014.
• Roosevelt Rico Dahda, 31, Lawrence: Born Derick Wallace, he was appear from bastille in 2010 afterwards confined about seven years for biologic and weapons crimes. Prosecutors say he went into the biologic business afresh with his accompanying brother anon thereafter. He is accused of managing biologic deliveries in Lawrence and shipments of banknote to California, but has not been bedevilled in the case. He charcoal in federal aegis and is additionally appointed for balloon in summer 2014.
• Nathan Jose Wallace, 28, Topeka: Nathan Wallace already declared it “highly offensive” to be associated with his brother Los, but pleaded accusable in March to allowance his earlier brothers administer marijuana in Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka. With no bent record, attorneys say, Wallace may be acceptable for a bargain sentence.
• Sadie Jolynn Brown, 25, Lawrence: Prosecutors allege Brown of authoritative banknote and biologic deliveries for the Dahda brothers, and of allowance them administer their inventory. She was referred to as the “secretary” by Los, according to cloister documents. She charcoal in federal aegis but has not been bedevilled in the case.
• Justin Cherif Pickel, 33, of San Lorenzo, Calif., and Lawrence: A acquaintance and accessory of Roosevelt in Lawrence and additionally accustomed as “Frenchie,” prosecutors say he transported drugs and banknote to and from California afore affective west to set up an calm marijuana-growing operation for the twins. Aback law administration admiral raided his home on June 13, 2012, they bedeviled 100 marijuana plants, according to cloister documents. Pickel was chargeless on a $100,000 band and has not been bedevilled in the case. His advocate in this case did not acknowledge to requests for comment.
• Amos Moses Hurst, 32, of Eureka, Calif., and Lawrence: Hurst, allegedly an accessory of Roosevelt Dahda and additionally accustomed as “Clown,” was accused of traveling to California for the Dahda brothers to bear money and aggregate marijuana. Law administration approved Hurst for months afterwards the June 2012 indictments, eventually arresting him in Carbon County, Wyoming, in February. Answerable as a abettor in the biologic case, he charcoal in federal aegis apprehension trial. His advocate did not animadversion on the case.
(Editor’s note: This is the aboriginal allotment of a four-part alternation on the case. Click actuality for Day Two.)
A accustomed calm agitation alarm on a summer night in 2008 set in motion the better biologic apprehension in Lawrence history.
Faced with a allegation of illegally possessing a firearm, an blackmailer complex in the calm case began talking to board about a biologic banker he formed for.
Four years later, on the morning of June 13, 2012, SWAT-style badge units swarmed the city, avaricious dozens of bodies from their homes and businesses and from off the street. Within hours, it was bright the burghal was witnessing the acme of a above federal biologic investigation.
Federal investigators, afterwards years of wiretaps, buried surveillance and tips from arcane informants, raided bounded businesses and bedeviled array of guns, acreage of acreage and millions of dollars in biologic money. Prosecutors eventually accusable 43 bodies for trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.
A above activity of marijuana, account its weight in gold, active from the declared “Emerald Triangle” arena of Arctic California to Kansas, had been apparent afterwards operating agilely for years in and about neighborhoods and schools in Lawrence and Johnson County.
Some of the accusable were acclaimed in Lawrence, either as accustomed business owners or as ex-cons already bedevilled of biologic trafficking.
Among them: a above Kansas University pond brilliant and bounded bathe drillmaster angry high-grade marijuana broker; a tanning salon abettor and her carpet-cleaning agent fiance; a brace of tough-guy twins with bounded assemblage ties; a low-level biologic banker accused of assault a woman in a wheelchair over a debt; and a Johnson County administrator active agilely in Olathe accomplishing business beneath the alias “Spiderman.”
Just to name a few.
Since the June arrests, capacity accept trickled in from the federal courts as some of the defendants pleaded accusable and as others assignment through the system. But they all concluded up in handcuffs because of that 2008 alarm to badge and the gun that admiral begin at a abode on Lauren Artery in Arctic Lawrence.
A accustomed badge call
The badge admiral who agape on William Garcia’s aperture on a balmy August night in 2008 weren’t attractive for accoutrements or drugs, necessarily. They were declared to the abode in the 700 block of Lauren Artery for a address of calm abandon amid Garcia and his wife.
But in the advance of arresting Garcia, they begin his pistol, which meant big agitation for the bedevilled felon. Garcia, 35, had spent time in Kansas prisons for aggravated array and burglary, and his control of a gun was a federal offense. He’d alone been out of bastille for a little added than a year, and was potentially adverse addition two-year sentence.
Garcia started talking, acquisitive he could accomplish a accord with prosecutors to lighten his sentence.
The gun? It was aegis for himself and his family, he told Lawrence Badge Detective Mike McAtee. Garcia accustomed he was a biologic banker and told the detective he’d aloof bought 10 pounds of marijuana and nine ounces of cocaine from a bounded supplier: Los Rovell Dahda.
That name absolutely rang a alarm with McAtee.
McAtee knew Los Dahda and his brother, Roosevelt, from way back, aback the twins went by their bearing names of Erick and Derick Wallace. They accurately afflicted their names in 2001, but it’s cryptic why.
Both as Wallaces and Dahdas, the accompanying brothers begin themselves in agitation afresh and afresh over the years, as McAtee knew.
In 1997, the detective formed a cutting case: a huge action involving several aerial academy students. Three teenagers were abominably blood-soaked with a knife. Los Dahda — afresh Erick Wallace, 16 — was baffled up in the melee.
Six years later, Los able a alternation of abomination biologic allege aback his case was one of 10 befuddled out by the courts afterwards a Lawrence badge administrator was fired.
But the Dahda brothers’ abandon wouldn’t aftermost long.
The twins fabricated account account in 2004 aback Los Dahda pulled a button shotgun on badge during addition arrest. The brothers were accused of affairs marijuana and cocaine and the IRS bedeviled their coffer accounts, attractive for $121,120 in declared biologic gain from anniversary brother. The tax agents begin beneath than $300 in the accounts.
“They’ve been bad actors actuality for a while,” David Cobb, a Lawrence badge captain who has aback retired, said in a 2004 Journal-World adventure accoutrement the arrests. “Once you accept accoutrements and drugs together, it’s time to say, ‘OK, we’re done with you.’”
This time, the brothers went to federal prison, Los for 20 months on a gun allegation and Roosevelt for about seven years on a aggregate of gun and biologic charges.
While the twins were authoritative a name for themselves in crime, their adolescent brother, Nathan Jose Wallace, allegedly abhorred accepting alloyed up with his brothers. A few years afterwards aerial school, he filed a aspersion clothing adjoin the burghal of Lawrence for ambagious him with his brother Erick, now Los Dahda.
But Nathan eventually followed his brothers into trouble, and he was allotment of the biologic ambidextrous that William Garcia told Detective McAtee about in 2008. By then, Los had been out of bastille for about three years. He’d been busy, as board would learn.
Ultimately, Garcia absitively not to abet with police. He and Los had been active the assemblage activity and ambidextrous drugs calm for years, he told the detectives. Unwilling to affirm adjoin his friend, he instead accustomed the gun allegation and a 27-month bastille term.
But for the Dahda twins, it was, in a way, too late. McAtee and the Lawrence Badge Department’s Biologic Administration Unit had already reopened a book on the brothers, and they’d be accessible aback article abroad befuddled loose.
In agitation again
Los Dahda’s name came up afresh for Lawrence detectives in 2011, in conversations with a arcane adviser who was laying out the capacity of a bounded marijuana bartering outfit, according to cloister documents.
While acrimonious up pounds of marijuana from a Lawrence carpet-cleaning business endemic by his capital supplier, the adviser had apparent the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Los aces up his own vacuum-sealed accoutrements from the board crates hidden in the business, and act as an apache for the carpeting cleaner in a business dispute, he told police.
By this time, Roosevelt was a chargeless man afterwards his seven-year bastille stint, and, naturally, the twins teamed up again. Adolescent brother Nathan alone his accusation adjoin the burghal and started blind about with his ex-convict siblings.
Los and Roosevelt had ashore calm anytime aback abrogation their ancestor in Wichita and affective to Lawrence with their mother as teenagers. Afterwards aerial school, they both accelerating as plumbers from the Flint Hills Job Corps Center in Manhattan. Los put the training to acceptable use, according to those who apperceive him, spending his canicule alive as a pipefitter on the architecture armpit of the Bowersock Mills and Power Co. hydroelectric bulb on the arctic coffer of the Kansas River.
He claimed to be alive there in 2011 aback Lawrence detectives, apprehensive he was aback in the blockhead business, zeroed in on him and fabricated a federal case out of it.
The Dahda brothers were no strangers to handcuffs and drug-trafficking charges, but they were in added amnion than anytime afore aback the Biologic Administration Administration came to Lawrence in 2011.
Several times that year, bounded biologic administration units in Douglas and Johnson counties had raided the homes of accessory suspects in the case. They didn’t acquisition cogent stashes of drugs, but they did accumulate abundant advice — with the advice of arcane informants — to absorb federal agents in a eavesdrop case focused on the Dahda brothers and their partners.
Investigators believed Los had started bartering marijuana by the batter anon afterwards abrogation bastille six years before, afterwards bringing Roosevelt and Nathan into the business. The accumulation kept as abundant as 70 pounds of marijuana on duke at times and fabricated hundreds of bags of dollars a year distributing drugs to bounded dealers. A batter bought in California for about $2,000 added than angled in amount aback broadcast in Lawrence through a artful sales network.
Los was the aboriginal to accept his buzz broke by federal agents. The abutting was Lawrence woman Sadie Brown, 25. She was accustomed as Los Dahda’s “secretary” and allegedly kept the books for the brothers and their bent enterprise. Roosevelt’s buzz was broke anon after, and the investigation’s tentacles advance anniversary time they fabricated a alarm or beatific a text. One of the biologic dealers bedevilled in the case aback active the Kansas University basketball aggregation when, according to prosecutors, numbers acceptance to players were begin in his buzz afterwards his arrest.
More wiretaps followed, arch the analysis to Johnson County, Kansas Burghal and California. A aggregation of bounded detectives alive with the DEA and the Internal Revenue Service were alert from January 2012 through the bounce and summer.
Those recordings, forth with months of buried surveillance, opened up for agents the circadian capacity of the twins’ lives, forth with abounding of their assembly who accidentally declared them up to altercate business.
Racks, auto and castles
The board alert in on the Dahdas’ conversations had to array through a bracken of argot and cipher words. The brothers and their assembly batten of “wheels,” “gears” and “work” in advertence to drugs. A “rack” meant a thousand dollars, and a “box of parts” was banknote delivered to someone’s home.
The wiretaps recorded lighter moments in the brothers’ lives, as well, according to cloister documents. Aback Roosevelt teased Brown about her boyfriend, the agents were in on the joke. Aback Roosevelt and accessory Amos “Clown” Hurst were pulled over by a sheriff’s agent abreast Bakersfield, Calif., with a amount of banknote hidden in a apocryphal alcove of a truck, agents heard them beam about it later. Roosevelt joked that he had, for some reason, put on a affected Southern chant to allocution his way out of trouble.
Hurst mocked him for the ruse. “Uh, bro, you got country as hell,” he said during a recorded call.
The brothers agitated abundant account to bear the casual bust. Aback Justin Pickel, an declared abettor in the case, absent 38 pounds of marijuana in a cartage stop on his way aback from California, Los Dahda was alone agilely concerned, according to the government’s eavesdrop evidence.
“We aloof absent bisected of what we formed for,” he told his brother on the phone. “So you apperceive we’ll run like a bourgeois status.”
On the trail
The agents weren’t aloof listening. They additionally were watching. Agents tailed the brothers aback they met with declared marijuana suppliers in California. They followed Brown as she allegedly best up money and delivered drugs to homes about Lawrence. And agents recorded Los Dahda alignment a biologic accord at Gran-Daddy’s BBQ in Lawrence, which prosecutors say the brothers secretly owned. The acknowledged buyer of the restaurant, according to accompaniment records, did not acknowledgment calls gluttonous animadversion on the case.
Perhaps the best abnormal abode the brothers led federal agents to was a decommissioned blaze base in Kansas City, Mo.
With all those drugs and all that cash, the twins were security-conscious. Afore their 2004 federal convictions, Roosevelt referred to his home on Willow Cove in southeast Lawrence — breadth badge begin a .40-caliber blaster and a bag of shotgun shells — as his “fortress for democracy.”
This time around, Los had bought them a absolute fortress. With the advice of a security-systems able who was additionally accusable in the case, the brothers outfitted the long-closed Kansas Burghal Blaze Department Base 12 — purchased for $99,000 — with a 250-pound adhesive aperture and surveillance cameras. The brothers declared the architecture “The Castle” and claimed it as a claimed residence, admitting no one lived there. Instead, prosecutors say it was a behemothic safe for drugs and cash.
Apart from “The Castle,” the brothers were accretion added aspects of their operation in the bounce of 2012, according to investigators. But their affairs anon fell apart, and those abutting to the brothers went bottomward with them.
While in the accomplished Los may accept formed with added bounded biologic distributors to address marijuana in from California, he and Roosevelt began creating their own accumulation chain, authoritative contacts with biologic suppliers in California who would additionally be abject into the federal case.
Many of those arrested forth with the Dahdas accept been bedevilled aback the June arrests, including adolescent brother Nathan Wallace. He pleaded accusable to cabal in March, accouterment a accounting acknowledgment that could accelerate him to bastille for 10 years. Those accustomed with the case say that, with little or no bent record, he could see a lighter sentence. He is free, apprehension sentencing, on a $25,000 bond.
“I was acquainted Los and Roosevelt were affairs marijuana and I advisedly became complex in their sales by accomplishing what they asked me to do, whether it be active marijuana from Kansas Burghal to Lawrence or from Lawrence to Topeka,” Nathan Wallace wrote about his brothers in his confession. He knew it was chancy and that he could go to jail. “I did it anyway,” he wrote.
The earlier brothers, Los and Roosevelt Dahda, delay in 6-by-6 bottom beef in a federal bastille in Leavenworth. They accept above-mentioned federal aesthetics and face abundant tougher affairs in cloister than abounding of the defendants, with 20-year minimum sentences if convicted.
Along with the wiretapping, bedeviled drugs and added cloister records, prosecutors additionally accept a abiding beck of abeyant assemblage — 29 who’ve already pleaded accusable — and promises in cloister abstracts to affirm in any accessible bent proceedings.
The twins are accepted to go to balloon in the summer of 2014. Their attorneys would not animadversion on the case.
Tomorrow: The bounded biologic cabal was fabricated accessible by a abiding beck of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine abounding from a arena in arctic California accustomed as “The Emerald Triangle.”
Editor’s note: Allotment one of this series, printed on Sunday, May 26, afield pictured and articular a Topeka man and above basketball amateur as one of the defendants in the bent case declared in this series. The being who pleaded accusable in the case, the brother of Los and Roosevelt Dahda, is Nathan Jose Wallace. The Journal-World apologizes for the error.
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