PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Richard Chase Hoover, 34, of Las Vegas, NV and Amir Boyer, 29, of Philadelphia, PA were sentenced by United States District Judge Michael M. Baylson to 15 years and 10 years in prison, respectively, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for their participation in a long-term drug trafficking conspiracy in Philadelphia from at least March 2017 through June 2018.
In November 2019, both defendants pleaded guilty to multiple counts in a Second Superseding Indictment, which charged nine defendants with various drug trafficking crimes. These nine defendants are members of a violent drug trafficking organization (also purporting to be rap artists) known as the Original Block Hustlaz or “OBH”. The 16-count Second Superseding Indictment alleged that the defendants conspired to distribute and did distribute cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and heroin from various locations that they controlled, particularly in and around North Philadelphia.
In September 2017, officers and detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department executed a search warrant at 3234 North Sydenham Street, which was a property used by members of OBH to store and sell drugs. During the execution of the search warrant, numerous drugs were seized, including approximately 62 grams of cocaine base (“crack”), 229 grams of heroin, and 48 grams of a methamphetamine mixture. The officers also seized $8,101 from the residence.
In May 2018, FBI agents observed Hoover enter an apartment on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia, soon after he returned from a trip to Los Angeles. Pursuant to a federal search warrant, the FBI followed Hoover into the apartment and found 10 kilograms of cocaine, nearly 6 pounds of pure methamphetamine, and $20,000 in cash. Then, in October 2018, Amir Boyer was arrested at the property on North Sydenham Street, where he had been living with his girlfriend and two children. During the execution of the arrest, officers seized approximately 20 pounds of marijuana and a firearm loaded with eight live rounds.
“Hoover and Boyer were members of a crew that trafficked in poison that it transported across the country and pushed here on our streets in Philadelphia,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “They also used violence to maintain their hold on their drug territory, in order to keep the cash rolling in, while pretending to do legitimate business as musicians as part of their cover. Now OBH has been decimated, hopefully never to return.”
“The O.B.H. gang steadily poisoned the parts of Philadelphia they controlled, dealing drugs and dishing out violence,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “The money they made from dealing cocaine, crack, meth, and heroin fueled this violence. The FBI will continue putting drug traffickers firmly out of business and behind bars, as we fight violent crime and work to make this city safer.”
“Hoover and Boyer headed a poly-drug distribution organization that distributed significant amounts of illicit drugs such as cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana,” said Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “Their drug-trafficking activities negatively impacted countless lives in and around North Philadelphia.”
This case is part of the FBI’s Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force, a program through which federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies collaboratively address the violent crime plaguing communities. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Everett Witherell and Timothy M. Stengel.