San Diego

Skateboarding Pro Charged With Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine in San Diego

In September 2018, deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department found a pound of heroin and methamphetamine in the Encinitas home of professional skateboarder Rob Lorifice

A professional skateboarder from San Diego's North County is facing federal criminal drug charges following a raid at his home where authorities discovered heroin, methamphetamine and hundreds of Xanax pills.

Rob Lorifice, 30, was arrested along with two others during a Sept. 26, 2018, raid by deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at Lorifice’s home in Encinitas.

"It was pretty shocking news, because a lot of kids looked up to him," Connor Douglas, a local skateboarder said. "Kind of a bummer to see him go down that road."

According to a newly-filed criminal complaint, authorities forced entry on Lorifice’s door and found the longtime professional vert skater upstairs, attempting to flush narcotics down the toilet.

Next to the toilet officers found a “small blue chunk of a crystalline substance” and near the sink sat a plastic baggie with a “golf ball-sized chunk of a white crystalline substance,” according to the complaint. 

In addition, deputies found several hundred Xanax pills, an ounce of heroin, and an ounce of meth inside an open safe in one of Lorifice’s closets. Inside a safe in the other closet was a stack of money and a passport.

Scattered throughout the master bedroom of Lorifice’s home, deputies retrieved small plastic baggies, Roxicodone pills, Xanax, marijuana, mushrooms, packing materials, as well as a digital scale.

In all, deputies seized 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, and 196 grams of marijuana, as well as $16,824 from the skateboarder's home.

Three other people were found in separate rooms inside the house. Two of the unidentified people, according to the federal complaint, admitted to buying meth from Lorifice and using drugs inside the house.

Another man by the name of Tom Herbert was also arrested in a third bedroom. In that room, officers found heroin, Xanax and a bundle of cash with Herbert’s name on it.

In an interview following the arrest, Lorifice denied selling the drugs, stating that “the narcotics [were] left at his house by someone...and he was afraid to get rid of them,” reads the federal complaint.

Lorifice rose to the top ranks of professional vert skating.

According to news reports, the Encinitas native was a local at the Magdalena Ecke YMCA skatepark since he was 6 years old, turning pro in his sport at the age of 16.

Lorifice grew up watching Ecke locals Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald skate the vert ramp. He soon followed in their footsteps, and by the time Lorifice was 22 had won four X Games medals for vert and on the MegaRamp.

Young skateboarder Connor Douglas, who has professional aspirations of his own, called the news of Lorifice's arrest shocking and disappointing.

"It's kind of a bummer to see him go down that road," Douglas said.

Lorifice's neighbors told NBC 7 the skater's professional decline coincides with a rapid increase in alleged drug deals that have taken place up and down their street in recent years.

Lorifice is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. A federal arrest warrant was also issued on Jan. 7 for Lorifice’s arrest. He is now out on bail awaiting his next court appearance later this month.

Calls to Lorifice for a comment on this story were not returned.

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