Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 4, 2009

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Highlighting Recent FBI Gang Investigations

The U.S. is seeing a rise in gang membership across the country and as membership spreads from urban to suburban areas, so does the associated criminal activity. Gangs are involved not only in auto theft, assault, home invasions, armed robbery, and extortion, but also in fraud, identity theft, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, alien smuggling, and murder.

“As our communities are exposed to higher levels of crime and violence, the FBI, along with local, state, and federal partners, are responding with an even greater measure of significant law enforcement action,” according to Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser, FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “The goal is to take these violent offenders off the streets and make our neighborhoods safer.”

A selection of recent press releases from 2009 listed below reflects how law enforcement is disrupting and dismantling these violent gangs:

  • On 01/12/2009, 10 members and associates of the Florencia 13 (F13) street gang were convicted on federal criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution. They were among 102 defendants named in four indictments in 2007 as part of Operation Joker’s Wild. More
  • On 02/13/2009, Operation Keys to the City led to 36 defendants charged with federal racketeering conspiracy, firearm offenses and drug trafficking violations. The year-long investigation targeted the criminal activities of the Mexican Mafia, Hispanic street gangs with ties to the Mexican Mafia, and the Mexico-based Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization. More
  • On 02/17/2009, a “G-Mob” gang member pled guilty in a nationwide, million-dollar bank fraud scheme. More
  • On 02/25/2009, 15 individuals were indicted in a Charlotte-area drug conspiracy arising from their participation in an organization with ties to the United Blood Nation. More
  • On 03/07/2009, over 500 law enforcement personnel executed 29 search warrants, arrested 30 gang members and associates, and seized drugs, firearms, and vehicles in a massive sweep targeting the violent East Palo Alto/Menlo Park-based Taliban gang. More
  • On 04/01/2009, the National President of the Devil’s Diciples [sic] Motorcycle Gang was indicted for being a violent felon in possession of body armor, and 17 other members were charged in related criminal complaints. More
  • On 04/08/2009, 12 alleged members of the Puro Lil Mafia (PLM) street gang operating in Wichita Falls, Texas, were indicted on federal weapons and/or narcotics charges. More Weeks later, PLM gang leader Mauricio Diaz indicted on federal weapons and narcotics charges. More
  • On 04/16/2009, the ringleader of a gang conspiracy to import and distribute multi-kilo quantities of methamphetamine from California to Louisiana received a life sentence in Lafayette, Louisiana. More
  • On 04/22/2009, Oscar Omar Lobo-Lopez was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity, murder in aid of racketeering activity, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence causing death. More
  • On 04/22/2009, two dozen individuals associated with the Mexican Mafia and other Hispanic street gangs were charged federally for their roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the San Fernando Valley. More
  • On 04/23/2009, Raza Unida prison gang members and associates were indicted on drug trafficking and firearms charges in Operation Lunar Eclipse. More
  • On 05/14/2009, Bloods Street Gang members and criminal associates were arrested for narcotics and weapons violations. More
  • On 05/14/2009, 74 members and associates of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club were charged in a superseding indictment with participating in the affairs of a corrupt organization through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, distributing controlled substances, and committing various federal gun violations. More
  • On 05/20/2009, Michael Vasquez was sentenced to 111 months in federal prison for his role in a gang-related shooting that left a toddler seriously injured. More
  • On 05/21/2009, approximately 1,400 law enforcement officers participated in the nation’s largest-ever gang sweep, arresting 88 individuals named in a federal RICO indictment that describes a war against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as systematic efforts to rid the community of African-Americans with a campaign of shootings and other attacks. The investigation into the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang began after the fatal shooting of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz. The action was part of Operation Knock Out, which has led to the indictments of 147 defendants to date. More
  • On 05/29/2009, eight Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation gang members pled guilty to a variety of charges, including drug conspiracy and weapons trafficking. More
  • On 06/01/2009, eight Bloods Street Gang members were charged in a federal indictment with conspiring to organize a sect of the Bloods in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The charges allege that, in furtherance of the conspiracy, they committed robberies affecting interstate commerce, carjacking, and weapons offenses. More

For more information about the FBI’s anti-gang efforts, please visit the following sections of www.fbi.gov:

 

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