You can get burgers with onions, chili and cheese, but one South L.A. food stand served up burgers with a side of crack cocaine, federal prosecutors allege.
B.D. Burgers at 10203 S. Central Ave. in Watts was the site of two drug transactions cited in the sentencing this week of 57-year-old Brian Sawyers, who was listed as the owner of the eatery at the time of the crimes, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
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The alleged crack sales, including a more than 1-ounce deal and a 2.5- ounce deal, took place at the burger stand or were initiated there back in 2012. Unfortunately for Sawyers, the buyer in both cases was a confidential informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). There are no allegations that B.D. Burgers was ever again involved in the drug trade.
U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew sentenced Sawyers to 15 years behind bars, a whopping stint for distributing a few ounces of contraband. But the burger businessman had a rap sheet that included three drug convictions, two of them federal. That alone added up to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, according to prosecutors. "This lengthy sentence reinforces that commitment and acts as a deterrent to any person contemplating the same conduct," ATF Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Eric D. Harden said in a statement
B.D. Burgers, by the way, seems to be thriving legitimately. Reviewers give it thumbs up.