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Alleged drug kingpin arrested in San Fernando Valley

June 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Federal agents arrested a man in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday accused of running a large-scale drug-smuggling operation.

Keith Hasson, 45, had been on the run since 2005 and was one of the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 most wanted fugitives. Authorities learned that he was living at an apartment in the 22000 block of Victory Boulevard in Canoga Park.

Hasson was arrested in the morning. Drug enforcement agents obtained a search warrant to enter Hasson's apartment, where neighbors said he had been living for at least a year.

Gaston Wurth, Hasson's neighbor, arrived home Wednesday afternoon to see the Los Angeles Police Department and the DEA swarming the apartment. Wurth said Hasson rarely had visitors and never cause disruptions.

"He was average, he didn't have a car or nothing like that, not blinged out," Wurth said. "He was a normal guy. I would have never guessed it."

Hasson has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1981 that includes arrests for violent crimes, including attempted murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors said Hasson was the leader of a drug distribution enterprise in Albuquerque that distributed cocaine and marijuana throughout the U.S.

Authorities are looking for a man who was seen running from the apartment during the arrest. No word yet on a description or on his connection to this case.


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