USA News

Hookah lounge owner sold ‘ghost guns’ and drugs from Los Angeles store

A hookah lounge owner has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for selling narcotics and nearly a dozen guns — including so-called ghost guns — to a confidential informant at his downtown business. Los Angeles, according to court documents.

Hovik Dagesian, 42, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to federal prosecutors’ office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.

Dagesian was the owner of DTLA Hookah on St. Vincent Court in late 2020 when he was introduced to a confidential informant through a mutual friend, prosecutors said.

The informant, who was not named in court documents but had previously worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, spoke to authorities about Dagesian and made another appointment to meet the salon owner.

Between October 2020 and early 2021, the informant met Dagesian four times at the hookah lounge and purchased 11 firearms, according to federal prosecutors. In addition to the weapons, the informant purchased 163 grams of methamphetamine from Dagesian, according to court documents.

Some of the guns purchased by the informant did not have serial numbers, making them untraceable. These types of weapons are known as ghost guns.

The buyer paid Dagesian $34,250 in total for the weapons and narcotics. Among the weapons purchased were an AR-15-style short-barreled rifle, a Tommy gun and a 9-millimeter pistol, officials said.

When federal agents raided Dagesian’s business in January 2021, they found nearly six ounces of methamphetamine along with 215 rounds of ammunition and numerous weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun, officials said.

Dagesian is scheduled to be sentenced on January 8. If convicted on all counts, he faces at least 10 years in federal prison.

Los Angeles Times

Back to top button