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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

13 indicted, 8 arrested in Calif. drug cartel investigation

Fox NewsFederal officials announced Tuesday that 13 people had been indicted and eight had been arrested following a investigation into what authorities say was an alliance between members of a California prison gang and a Mexican drug cartel.

The indictment, one of two unsealed Tuesday, alleges that the two criminal organizations sought to accommodate each other in a scheme referred to as "The Project" by its participants. The arrangement sought to give members of the La Familia Michoacána drug cartel (commonly known as "La Familia") free rein to sell methamphetamine in Southern California. In exchange, members of the Mexican Mafia prison gang would receive money and methamphetamine. Participants in "The Project" would also provide protection for incarcerated cartel members.

The indictment describes the Mexican Mafia as a powerful prison gang that controls the drug trade and other criminal activities within California state prisons, county jails, and federal penitentiaries. Its members are generally senior members of Latino street gangs, and the Mexican Mafia also allegedly exercises control over the narcotics trafficking activities of the gangs in Southern California, as well as in prisons

"Today's salvo against the Mexican Mafia is part of a 20-year fight to curb the influence of the prison gang both inside prison walls and on the streets of Southern California," said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. in a statement. "We successfully dismantled the gang's leadership structure in prior cases, causing chaos throughout the organization. Now we have demonstrated our ability to stop the Mexican Mafia from realizing a new power base by disrupting the gang's plot to establish a threatening alliance with a major drug trafficking organization." continue reading...

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