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Latino Daily News

Friday January 27, 2012

California: 119 Busted in Mexican Mafia Sting

California: 119 Busted in Mexican Mafia Sting

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A total of 119 people were arrested in three operations undertaken by federal authorities in Southern California that dealt a heavy blow to the organized crime outfit known as the Mexican Mafia, or “La Eme.”

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, Laura E. Duffy, said that Wednesday’s arrests affected all levels of the organization, including top leaders such as Rudy Espudo, a resident of Escondido, California.

People who think involvement in gang activity is not a serious matter “need to think twice,” she told a press conference in San Diego, adding that her office is “fiercely committed” to the battle against gangs.

Duffy said that the operation broke up a structure that included, in addition to the leaders, other people responsible for making mid-level decisions, associates and “soldiers.”

As a result of the operation, a grand jury in San Diego brought 17 charges against the 119 accused.

The U.S. attorney said that the charges filed against the arrested people include blackmail, drug trafficking violations and weapons possession and the accused were responsible for “many violent acts,” including attempted murder and attacks with deadly weapons.

The authorities say that despite the fact that La Eme only has about 200 members, its influence extends to thousands of members of Hispanic gangs in Southern California.