Evil Empire

Investigators say he was bigger than Sammy the Bull. His minions say he ruled the drug trade in the Valley's rave scene. Now, authorities have "English Shaun," the man they claim reigned over a nighttime empire of ecstasy, meth, violence and excess.

Reckart coolly corrects Simpson, without glancing at his color-coded time chart.

"He didn't just ask for wine. He asked for any of that salty fucking wine,' pardon my language, your honor, which is slang for GHB, which Shaun was addicted to."

On July 11, prosecutors added "serious drug offender" allegations to those charges already filed against Attwood, Mahoney and Osborne, because of what the prosecution calls aggravating circumstances in the case, including the use of minors in selling drugs. If convicted, they could face a life sentence with possibility for parole after 25 years.

Justin DeGarmo
In May, "English" Shaun Attwood and 12 others were arrested and indicted on charges that they took part in a multimillion-dollar drug ring known as "the Evil Empire." Row 1 (from left): Angel Capdevilla, Andrea Swanson, Carina McCormick, Patrick Powers. 


Row 2: Antwaine Cotton, Bonnie Helle, Cody Bates, Peter Mahoney. 


Row 3: Gary Menichello, George Garcia, Kerry Osborne, Sherwin Williams.
In May, "English" Shaun Attwood and 12 others were arrested and indicted on charges that they took part in a multimillion-dollar drug ring known as "the Evil Empire."

Row 1 (from left): Angel Capdevilla, Andrea Swanson, Carina McCormick, Patrick Powers.

Row 2: Antwaine Cotton, Bonnie Helle, Cody Bates, Peter Mahoney.

Row 3: Gary Menichello, George Garcia, Kerry Osborne, Sherwin Williams.

Details

Read Westword's related feature story about black-market GHB, "Sip of Fools."

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Outside the courthouse walls, meanwhile, news of the arrests takes on a life of its own. The indictments, and the fear that there may be more to come, have stirred things up in the rave and club scene.

"It was pretty ironic in a way, because at first it wasn't as if everyone was saying, English Shaun got busted! English Shaun got busted!' It was more like, Hey, remember English Shaun? He finally got busted.'" Over the last few years, Coen says, he still heard the occasional Shaun story, "but he wasn't at his peak anymore. Far from it. He was just another crystal casualty on a larger scale."

The bust is disconcerting to many of the older crowd — like Coen — the more discerning businessmen who got out when the getting was good. They can't help but wonder how far back the arrests will go. "I'm nervous," he says. "I know people who did business with Shaun two, three, four years ago and they're nervous right along with us. No one's sure how far this thing is going to go, and until it's over I'm going to be taking a deep breath every time my doorbell rings."

If anything is surprising to English Shaun's former associates, though, they say it's that the Empire fell at the hands of law enforcement, rather than from its own self-destruction.

"I really thought he'd die before he'd get caught," Will says. "That's what we were all betting on."

Editor's note: The names of Will, Ethan, Coen and Marcus have been changed. Additional reporting by David Holthouse.

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