US Attorney – California Man Sentenced to 24 Years’ Federal Prison For Possessing 17 Million Doses Of PCP

SANTA ANA – A federal judge in Santa Ana has sentenced a Hawthorne man to 24 years in prison for possessing approximately 17 million doses of PCP.

Clifford Michael Oliver, 38, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge David O. Carter. Oliver pleaded guilty in December 2007 to possession with the intent to distribute PCP.

A second defendant in the case, Taylor Winston Wright, 41, of Ladera Ranch, pleaded guilty in November 2007 and was sentenced by Judge Carter on April 21 to 15 years in prison.

The case against Oliver and Wright began on June 5, 2005, when an Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigator was conducting surveillance on Wright, who was facing PCP-related charges in state court. Wright drove to Oliver’s apartment, where the investigator observed the men load containers of liquid into a storage locker in the garage. The investigator smelled an odor he found consistent with PCP.

The next day, the investigator summoned a clandestine laboratory specialist with the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA-IMPACT) to Oliver’s garage. After identifying the source of the odor and obtaining a search warrant for a locker in the garage, investigators recovered 14 gallons of liquid that were later identified as containing PCP. When Oliver arrived at the apartment building, he was taken into custody and additional PCP was recovered from his apartment and his vehicle. Wright was arrested in July 2006 at the Los Angeles County Courthouse. A veteran investigator on the case estimated that the amount of PCP seized from Oliver and Wright was equivalent to 17 million doses of the drug.

The investigation of Oliver and Wright was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force .

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Gregory W. Staples

(714) 338-3535

Release No. 08-069

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