Gang Roundup|in Orange County


SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Hundreds of police officers on Tuesday concluded a roundup of 129 defendants named in indictments against Mexican Mafia members in Orange County, and the street gangs they influence, prosecutors said.
     A federal grand jury in Orange County returned 26 indictments against 86 defendants, and the Orange County District Attorney indicted 43 more, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The federal indictments include charges of murder, assault, extortion, drug dealing and “taxes” for it.
     Santa Ana Gang Task Force undercover officers bought 67 guns and seized 22 lbs. of methamphetamine, 1½ lbs. of heroin and 3 lbs. of cocaine during the 3-month-long Operation Smokin’ Aces, the U.S. attorney said.
     The operation centered on Peter Ojeda, allegedly the head of the Mexican Mafia in Orange County, who is charged with ordering murders and assaults. Those charges were in a 2011 racketeering indictment against 99 defendants, not in the indictments unsealed this week, prosecutors said.
     In the new indictments, one charges 15 people with dealing drugs at the direction of George “Monk” Martinez and John Terrones. A second drug indictment charges 12 people with dealing meth at the behest of Mario Franco.

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