West Hollywood, CA - Sheriff: Suspect in Triple Slaying of Iranian Jews Confessed
West Hollywood, CA - Officials say a man has confessed to fatally shooting three men in a West Hollywood apartment after a drug deal went bad.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Nelson said Wednesday that Harold Yong Park was cooperative with investigators after his arrest Monday and told them he shot the men after a failed marijuana deal.
The three victims, brothers Pirooz and Shahriar Moussazadeh and Bernard Khalili, were killed Aug. 26 in the apartment where two of them lived.
Officials say the men had been buying high-grade marijuana from medical pot dispensaries then reselling it.
The 31-year-old Park was arrested with about five pounds of the drug in his car. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on three counts of murder.
Sheriff Lee Baca said Wednesday that the recent triple murder in West Hollywood during an illegal sale of medical marijuana is another example of how the industry has been taken over in part by enterprising criminals.
â€śThe medicinal marijuana program that voters authorized years ago has been hijacked by underground drug dealing criminals who are resorting to violence in order to control their piece of the action,â€ť Baca said.
He said the criminal element has flooded the business because of theÂ outrageous profits to be made. â€śThere are predators armed and seeking easy dollars in sales of marijuana,â€ť Baca said.
Baca said his detectives have found marijuana collectives buying from cartel sources and selling to people in large amounts. In the triple slaying case, two of the dead men did business with at least four dispensaries.
A man charged Wednesday with capital murder in the slayings confessed to the crime during an interview with detectives, investigators said.
Harold Yong Park, 31, told investigators he previously bought and sold marijuana from two of the men and that a dispute erupted when he came to the West Hollywood apartment Thursday evening, where theÂ victimsÂ were shot to death.
Sheriff Lt. Pat Nelson said Pirooz Moussazadeh and Bernard Khalili had bought high-grade medical marijuana from local pot dispensaries—some in L.A. and two in West Hollywood—and then resold it. In this case, Park had stolen 4 to 5 pounds of high-grade hydroponically grown marijuana after killing the trio.
The third man killed, Shahriar Moussazadeh, was not involved in the drug deal and was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, Nelson said.
He said Park did not bring enough money to the deal to buy the drugs he wanted. But detectives are not certain when he decided to kill the men.Â Nelson said Park has a prior drug conviction and worked previously for a marijuana collective.
Park is expected to appear in a Beverly Hills court Wednesday on murder, robbery and burglaries charges. He is being held without bail. He was arrested Monday in Lomita after his license plate that had been entered into a wanted car database was spotted using a sheriffâ€™s patrol car with an automatic license plate reader.
Meanwhile, the campaign to defeat Proposition 19 announced Wednesday that Baca and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will head up the effort to defeat the marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot.
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