Federal authorities say a 63-year-old Inglewood man, who allegedly had a secret PCP lab operating in Long Beach, has been arrested on suspicion of ordering bulk quantities of at least one chemical used to make phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP, and distributing the drug.
William Cless Hubbard Jr. was arrested Thursday evening by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek.
The investigation into Hubbard’s activities began in October 2019 when authorities learned of a shipment of four drums of bromobenzene from China to a beauty supply company that he owned, said Mrozek, adding that bromobenzene has a number of applications, including being used to manufacture PCP.
“After the bromobenzene was delivered to his business on West Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood in December 2019, Hubbard was under surveillance by law enforcement,” he said. “On several occasions in 2020, authorities observed Hubbard distributing suspected chemicals to several locations, including a building in Long Beach, where a clandestine PCP lab was discovered last May.”
The Long Beach PCP lab was located at a business at at 6122 Cherry Ave. in North Long Beach, according to a legal complaint from the DOJ shared with the Post.
Authorities recovered a one-gallon jug containing amber liquid, which tested “presumptively” positive for PCP during a search Thursday at Hubbard’s home, Mrozek said. During a related search at a business owned by Hubbard they allegedly found 55-gallon drums containing precursor chemicals regulated under the Controlled Substances Act that can be used to make PCP.
On Friday, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Hubbard charging him with possession with intent to distribute PCP.
“At his first court appearance late (Friday) afternoon in United States District Court, Hubbard was ordered detained pending trial,” Mrozek said. “An arraignment in this case was scheduled on Feb. 18.”
If convicted of the narcotics charge in the alleged complaint, Hubbard could face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison, Mrozek said.
Crystal Niebla contributed to this report.