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Archive for Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Brothers face drug, weapons charges

Police say twins kept arsenal, threatened to kill officer; one arrested with sawed-off shotgun

April 13, 2004

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Police have arrested twin brothers they suspect of keeping an arsenal of guns to protect a marijuana- and cocaine-dealing enterprise.

One of the brothers, according to court documents, told an informant he wanted to kill a Lawrence Police officer.

"They've been bad actors here for a while," said Lt. David Cobb, a Lawrence Police spokesman. "Once you have guns and drugs together, it's time to say, 'OK, we're done with you.'"

One of the brothers, Los Rovell Dahda, 22, pulled a sawed-off shotgun on officers during his arrest Friday afternoon, Cobb said. He is charged in federal court with one count of possessing the illegal weapon but so far with no drug charges. His brother, Roosevelt Rico Dahda, faces one federal count of using a firearm in a drug-trafficking crime, punishable by up to life in prison with a minimum five-year sentence.

Their cases will be presented to a grand jury in coming days, where more charges could be filed in a formal indictment.

Los Rovell Dahda and Roosevelt Rico Dahda were formerly known as Erick C. Wallace and Derick R. Wallace, respectively, but legally changed their names in 2001 and 2002, according to court records.

Police informant

The charges follow a monthlong investigation into the brothers by the Lawrence Police Department and the joint city-county Drug Enforcement Unit, Cobb said.

A "cooperating individual" helped make the case against Roosevelt Dahda by contacting police in late March and telling officers he knew Dahda and had heard him talk about his guns and say he wanted to kill a Lawrence officer, according to records.



Roosevelt Dahda is prohibited from having firearms because of a prior felony conviction, but police recorded phone calls between Dahda and the informant in which they discussed guns, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Police also sent the informant to a target-shooting session April 2, which they monitored by audio and video recording equipment, according to the affidavit.

Officers also found ammunition boxes in trash they took from the curb April 6 outside Roosevelt Dahda's home in the 1500 block of Willow Cove in southeast Lawrence, according to the affidavit. The informant told police Roosevelt Dahda had referred to his home as his "fortress for democracy," the affidavit said.

Coordinated arrests

The investigation culminated Friday, when police stopped both men in traffic, arrested them, and served search warrants for their homes, Cobb said. Cobb said police watched the men and waited for them to leave their homes before arresting them because officers suspected they were armed.

Roosevelt Dahda's arrest happened about 1:10 p.m. Friday after a traffic stop near Clinton Parkway and Atchison Avenue. In a search of his home that began about 1:50 p.m., police found a loaded .40-caliber handgun, a bag of shotgun shells, scales with white residue and other items, according to the court affidavit.

Christa Graham, who lives on Willow Cove, said she was outside Friday when she saw a van pull up slowly. She said 10 to 15 officers came out dressed in black, carrying shields and shouting.

"It was really frightening," she said. "It was just like what you see on TV."

When officers stopped Los Dahda about 6 p.m. near 16th and Iowa streets, he got out of the car holding a sawed-off shotgun at his side, Cobb said. Officers had to use physical force to subdue him and take the gun from him, Cobb said.

Inside a closet in Dahda's home in the 900 block of Jana Drive, officers found bags of white powder, baggies of suspected marijuana packaged for sale, a .380-caliber handgun, a .45-caliber handgun and other items, according to the affidavit.

-- 6 News anchor/reporter Janet Reid contributed information to this article

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