Gang Roundup Nails 50 in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CN) - More than 1,300 LAPD and FBI agents on Tuesday arrested 50 alleged members of the Crips, who allegedly control drug sales in the area just west of Los Angeles' Skid Row.
The 112-count, 213-page indictment, unsealed Tuesday, names 72 defendants, including the 50 who were arrested, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The defendant Crips gang has an estimated 200 members and "used violence and intimidation to control an area centering on the intersection of 52nd Street and South Broadway in South Los Angeles," the U.S. attorney said.
The racketeering indictment "outlines two decades of criminal conduct, including murders, robberies, extortion, witness intimidation and narcotics trafficking," prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. attorney's statement: "The indictment specifically alleges that members of the gang:
"committed four murders, dating back to 1987, that include fatal shootings of unarmed men with no gang affiliations in 2003 and 2012;
"threatened a surviving victim of the 2003 shooting, which followed a concert at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip;
"conspired to murder a fellow gang member who had provided a statement to law enforcement in relation to the 2012 murder incident in which a total of four people with no gang ties were shot, including a 10-year-old girl on a bicycle;
"fired shots at California Highway Patrol Officers who were pursuing gang members two years ago;
"engaged in a series of violent, 'follow-home' robberies that targeted customers of South Bay banks; and
"participated in numerous narcotics sales near schools and playgrounds."
If convicted, all 72 defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison; many could be sentenced to life without parole.