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Notorious street gang members under arrest

June 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The FBI announced the arrests of nine people Tuesday as part of a sweeping crackdown on a clique of Los Angeles's 18th Street Gang.A federal racketeering indictment, also unsealed Tuesday, accused dozens of gang members and associates of a number of crimes, including the murder of a 3-week-old baby.

The FBI and the LAPD conducted the raids that led to the arrests. Another 21 people named in the indictment were already in custody.

Tom O'Brien, U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles, said this gang had terrorized the MacArthur Park neighborhood, east of downtown Los Angeles, for several years. The indictment, O'Brien said, seeks to hold the gang "accountable for the violence and intimidation it is alleged to have wielded in seeking to control narcotics distribution and extort street vendors within its territory." O'Brien said he expects more arrests in the near future.

"The conduct charged in this new indictment includes the September, 2007, fatal shooting of a 3-week-old infant, who was struck by a bullet as he sat in his stroller, when a [gang] member attempted to shoot and murder a street vendor who refused to cede to the gang's demands to pay $50 in 'rent' in order to sell his wares in gang territory," said O'Brien.

The indictment also charges gang members with the 2001 murder of an innocent man who was mistaken for a member of a rival gang.

It also charges Isaac Guillen, a Covina criminal defense attorney, with money laundering and committing other acts on behalf the Mexican Mafia member who authorities say oversees the activities of the 18th Street Gang set.

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