Michael Webster
April 24, 2009
Two dozen Mexican Mafia and other gangs and associates arrested on federal narcotic violations today in San Fernando Valley
By Michael Webster

April 22, 2009, 4:30 PM PST

According to Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles said 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.

The investigation was initiated early last year by the LAPD and the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force to address gang-related crime in the San Fernando Valley. The investigation focused on identifying and disrupting drug trafficking organizations and related violence carried out by Hispanic gangs associated with the Mexican Mafia. Said, Michael Moore, Deputy Chief of LAPD's Valley Operations Bureau.

Based on criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles today the court-authorized wire interceptions, surveillance, and confidential sources were used during the investigation to purchase narcotics and weapons from the subjects in this case. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics, Title 21, USC, Section 846. One subject, Oscar Carbajal, is charged with being in the United States illegally following a previous deportation.

The court documents outline a narcotics distribution ring in which defendants played multiple roles in a coordinated methamphetamine trafficking enterprise, including sales, distribution and transportation.

Agents from several federal agencies and officers with the LAPD executed over a dozen federal arrest warrants and twelve federal search warrants that resulted in the seizure of cash, narcotics, and weapons. Several individuals charged in the complaint were already in custody and approximately four individuals were arrested on related and unrelated state charges.

Earlier this year the largest ever federal gang case involved the arrests and convictions of the Florencia 13 Gang also known as the Mexican Mafia, they staged attacks against African-Americans in a bid to control drug trafficking in South Los Angeles Neighborhoods.

Florencia 13 (F13), were involved in narcotics distribution along with the shootings and were convicted on a host of federal criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution.

The 10 defendants were found guilty after a 3-month trial. They are among 102 defendants named in four F13-related indictments that were returned by a federal grand jury in the fall of 2007. The investigation into F13, which was called Operation Joker's Wild, led to the largest gang takedown in American history, with 96 of the 102 defendants being taken into custody. Seventy-six of the defendants have now been convicted, either at trial or as the result of guilty pleas, with the remaining defendants pending trial.

"The investigation into Florencia 13 demonstrated the power of law enforcement coming together to combat organized street gangs," said United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien.

Assistant United States Attorney Peter A. Hernandez whom prosecuted the gang said "This gang which targeted African-Americans, whether or not they posed a threat to the gang's drug-trafficking operations posed an imminent danger. As a result of this prosecution, the residents of South Los Angeles can live alittle easier knowing that these dangerous gangsters have been taken off the street."

Those charged in the federal complaint today include:

Karen Arizpe, 46, of Reseda

Juan Ceja Barrera, 44, of Reseda

Oscar Carbajal, 37, of Pacoima

Lisa Chavez, 28, of Northridge

Elmerante De La Cruz, 40, Mission Hills

Juan Carlos Deloera, 32, Northridge

Jesus Roberto Diaz Glindo, 36, of Pacoima

Senobio Gonzalez, 34, of Lake View Terrace

Miguel Angel Guzman Gutierrez, 26, of Sun Valley

Humberto Jimenez, 36, of Mission Hills

Ileana Patricia Luna, 31, of Pacoima

Dagoberto Ochoa, 33, of San Fernando

Candida Guerrero Padilla, 37, of Pacoima

Franciso Rodriguez, 37, of Pacoima

Richard Silva, 54, of Sylmar

Shaeda Wall, 34, of Van Nuys

Antonio Garcia, 37, incarcerated in Bureau of Prisons

Jaime Garcia, 37, incarcerated at L.A. County Jail

Monique Lopez, 32, incarcerated in CA State Prison

Salvador Lopez, 29, incarcerated in Ventura County Jail

Michael Martinez, 45, incarcerated in L.A. County Jail

Carlos Portillo, 28, incarcerated in CA State Prison

Romero Topiltzin, 34, incarcerated in L.A. County Jail

Jose Serrano, 38, incarcerated in Bureau of Prisons

Authorities told this reporter that this investigation was conducted by the LAPD and the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, one of dozens of such task forces throughout the United States, funded for the purpose of assisting local police in identifying and addressing violent crime in America. Considerable assistance was provided during this investigation and in today's operation by several additional agencies, including, DEA, ICE, ATF, Bureau of Prisons, the California Department of Corrections, and the Department of Child and Family Services of Los Angeles County. The defendants listed above will be prosecuted by Jennifer Corbit of the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

MS13 Worlds most Dangerous Gang

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The MS13 gang, aka Mara Salvatrucha 13, is one of the most violently dangerous gangs in the United States and one of the most organized. The MS13 gang has cliques, or factions, located throughout the United States and is unique in that it retains read more

For more related articles go to: www.lagunajournal.com and www.usborderfirereport.com

© Michael Webster

 

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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)

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