More than 1,300 FBI agents and LAPD officers on Tuesday arrested dozens linked to a violent gang whose influence runs from South Los Angeles to Skid Row to the South Bay, FBI officials said.
The nearly 50 people arrested are associated with the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips, a gang with some 200 members that has been operating since the 1970s and is based near 52nd Street and South Broadway in South LA, according to a statement by the FBI.
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Tuesday's sweep targeted the Gremlin Riderz, a particularly violent subset of the Broadway Crips, FBI officials said.
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The Gangster Crips sold drugs not only in South Los Angeles, but also preyed upon residents of Skid Row with influence stretching to the South Bay, officials said.
“What makes the conduct of this gang particularly insidious is not only the violent crimes alleged, but also the exploitation of Skid Row drug users who are already living in difficult circumstances,” US Attorney André Birotte Jr. said.
The dozens arrested are among 72 defendants named in a 213-page federal racketeering indictment for crimes ranging from murder, robbery, extortion and drug trafficking of crack cocaine, cocaine, methamphetamine, phencyclidine (PCP), Ecstasy, marijuana and codeine, according to the FBI.
"The indictment outlines a string of violent bank robberies where victims were followed from their homes in the South Bay, as well as multiple counts alleging drug sales conducted near schools and playgrounds," said Bill Lewis, assistant director of Los Angeles FBI.
The indictment also alleges that members of the gang committed four murders dating back to 1987, including deaths of unarmed men with no gang affiliations in 2003 and 2012.
The suspects face a minimum of 10 years in prison, and some face life in prison without parole.
Of the 72 named in the indictment, 48 were arrested Tuesday. Two others were arrested on local charges, while 17 defendants were already in custody on unrelated charges.
The FBI also seized dozens of weapons in the Tuesday morning sweep.
Authorities are still looking for eight other people, including the remaining seven people named in the indictment and one person who faces local charges.
Los Angeles police said the arrests will help continue reduction of gang violence seen in the last decade.