Police in Washington D.C. and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms recently ended a year long sting in which they operated as a fake rap label. As a result of the sting, authorities confiscated $7.2 million in drugs and 161 weapons.
The fake label was set-up in Northeast Washington in November 2010 and contained hidden audio and visual equipment. The label was dubbed Manic Enterprises and centered around rapper Richie Valdez. However, Valdez does not actually exist. Yes, he was another made up part of the puzzle. Once everything was established, undercover officers acted as music industry personnel looking to purchase drugs and weapons from underground or black martket sources. Officers got so deep during the course of the sting that they hooked up with members of the Mexican Drug Cartel “La Familia.” They were also led to major gun suppliers in Atlanta. The sting was very risky but proved to pay off for authorities in the end when it came down to the seizures. A breakdown of the items confiscated is as follows: 161 firearms, 29 assault rifles, 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 21 pounds of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, and 24 pounds each of marijuana, heroin and ecstasy. Additionally, the police state that the 70 suspects arrested were very dangerous people. Reports say that they bragged all the time about violent crimes they had committed and how they would be willing to kill anyone from a cop to an innocent person with no remorse. Authorities started the sting after making a public commitment to the safety of the people in the District of Columbia. Authorities feel like they have made good on their promise to keep the citizens of D.C. safe. And they plan to continue to keep their word by seeing to it that the 70 people arrested are all brought to justice. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Laniersaid she truly feels like the success of the sting helped D.C. to avoid major devastation and that all of the law enforcement members involved will be properly commended.
**My Two Cents: Damn, the police are getting very crafty. They went above and beyond to make this sting work. And love them or hate them, there is no denying their success. The confiscated amount of drugs alone is mind blowing. However, one has to wonder about the people that they busted. Wouldn’t you research a record company first to see what they were all about? I’ve heard people say they heard about Valdez last year but when they googled him, nothing came up. Same thing with Manic Enterprises. That is a major red flag right there. Any legit label is going to have a website, social networking page, or something. And any rapper is going to have music out there in some way, shape, or form. So those who got busted are either stupid or poor businessmen, most likely both. On another note, upstart rap labels gotta be careful now. It’s going to be hard to establish credibility after something like this. -MinM