West Coast Crips gang leader Randy Alton Graves (photo above, center) was sentenced in federal court Tuesday morning to life in prison for multiple drug-related crimes. The 53-year-old gangster has more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor convictions from 1976 to 2012, ranging from voluntary manslaughter to gun crimes to multiple drug offenses.
Graves was convicted by a federal jury on April 4, 2016 of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine; conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana; and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Following a five-day trial, the jury deliberated for about three hours before returning its verdict.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw noted that he also considered Graves’ role in the murder of a government witness, sex trafficking, possession of firearms, and other instances of drug dealing in determining that a life sentence was appropriate - even without a mandatory minimum requirement.
According to evidence presented at trial, Graves sold meth to a confidential informant on four occasions between August and October of 2013. The government also played intercepted phone calls for the jury in which Graves recruited three men to travel to Lompoc, California, to unload a boat carrying 5,000 pounds of marijuana from Mexico. Prosecutors also presented evidence obtained from a search warrant executed on Graves’ residence which showed Graves in possession of 79 grams of methamphetamine found in Graves’ refrigerator and two loaded guns.
Graves was initially indicted in June 2014 with racketeering charges connected to the West Coast Crips street gang. The racketeering activity alleged in that indictment included several homicides, drug, and sex trafficking crimes. Graves’ case was severed from the larger racketeering trial and proceeded to trial only on certain drug charges.
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