8 arrested, 44 indicted in raid targeting Mexican Mafia, drug cartel, street gang

Beatriz Valenzuela (Pasadena Star-News) | August 06, 2013

Federal and local law enforcements agents arrested eight people early Tuesday as part of a three-year investigation into the Mexican Mafia, La Familia drug cartel and the notorious street gang, Florencia 13.

The gangs are normally rivals, but authorities say they forged a union in order to flood California, and beyond, with drugs to reap significant profit.

“As the gangs change their tactics … they seem to be working together,” said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, whose department is part of the task force that helped in the investigation. “It’s important for law enforcement to also work together like we did so well in this operation.”

A total of 44 Mexican Mafia, La Familia drug cartel and Florencia 13 members, shot callers and associates were named in two separate indictments filed against the alleged criminal organizations. Eight were arrested Tuesday; the others have already been arrested or are outstanding.

“This is the largest single crackdown of the Mexican Mafia since the ’90s,” said Andre Birotte, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

Through the merger, the Mexican Mafia, a gang that reportedly controls the prisons and drugs sales on Southern California streets, would allow the La Familia cartel to have free reign to sell drugs in the region and would provide incarcerated cartel members with protection in prison in exchange for money and drugs, authorities said.

Read more at: http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_23808458/8-arrested-early-morning-raid-targeting-mexican-mafia

Photo credit:  Gene Blevins / Pasadena-Star News

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