Photo: Rancho San Pedro Gang Bust
More than 1,300 federal and local law enforcement officers fanned out Thursday morning across the Los Angeles harbor area to arrest 80 alleged members and associates of the Rancho San Pedro gang, capping a nearly three-year investigation that linked the group to firearms and narcotics trafficking.
The enforcement action targeted some 230 Rancho San Pedro members and associates who are charged in federal and state court documents with a host of crimes, including violent acts as well as firearms and narcotics violations. Of the defendants located and taken into custody Thursday, 66 were arrested on state weapons and narcotics charges and 14 were arrested based upon federal indictments.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has issued 12 indictments naming 26 defendants on charges ranging from the distribution of methamphetamine and illegal weapon sales to immigration offenses. One of the indictment names three defendants who were allegedly involved in a series of narcotics transactions, including one sale involving more than one pound of methamphetamine. The lead defendant in that case is also accused of brokering the sale of 22 firearms, including assault rifles. About half of the defendants named in the federal indictments face potential life sentences.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting approximately 145 defendants on state charges, including illegal weapons possession and selling drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin.
The Rancho San Pedro gang originated back in the 1970s. Its membership includes 600 documented members, as well as more than 400 associates.