December 27, 2019 – New York City drug lord Damien (Drama) Rice was sentenced to 16 years in state prison for narcotics trafficking and illegal weapon possession last week. Rice, 47, ran his drug business out of Staten Island and is a member of the United Blood Nation. He was indicted in November 2018 for pushing heroin, cocaine and prescription pills and pleaded guilty in October. Police dubbed the bust Operation Blood Line.

Pills sourced from Drama Rice’s organization were responsible for eight overdose deaths since 2016, according to prosecutors. Rice’s rap sheet dates back to the 1980s and he recently did three years in prison for a separate narcotics-related offense. In a summer 2018 raid of Rice’s Mariners Harbor residence, police found $190,000 in cash and three unregistered guns. Inside Rice’s vehicle parked outside, officers uncovered $5,000 in the glove department. Per the indictment, Rice maintained a wholesale drug connection in Arizona and would take several trips from New York to Phoenix throughout the year to socialize with his connection.

The United Blood Nation, or “UBN,” is an offshoot of the infamous Bloods street gang in Los Angeles, started in the early 1990s by Omar (O.G. Mack) Portee, a New York resident who spent time out west with his Bloods-affiliated relatives and returned east with an expansion plan he set out to implement, first behind bars, and then on the streets. While serving time at Rikers Island in 1993, Portee partnered with Leonard (Dead Eye) McKenzie and began growing the UBN at a rapid clip. Authorities estimate there are close to 10,000 UBN members in multiple states across the east coast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States today, including a significant portion inside the New York Department of Corrections.

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