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9 busted for trafficking drugs, weapons

September 26, 2009 12:06:17 AM PDT
Nine men linked to a local street gang are busted for trafficking drugs and high-powered weapons, and one of the suspects may be a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel.Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and local police raided many homes in southeast Los Angeles and Bell Gardens on Thursday night after a nine-month investigation.

"We've had, in a number of the surrounding communities, a number of shootings over the last couple of months. Some have been actual homicides," said Bell Gardens Chief Randy Adams

Police found many of the weapons at the home of 27-year-old Henry Valenzuela, who claimed to work for a Mexican drug cartel.

There has been no evidence to support Valenzuela's claims.

The gang, called itself Barrio Evil 13, allegedly sold drugs and weapons to agents.

It is not known where the gang was getting the drugs or weapons, but they are being traced back to its previous owners.

"I would assume that other gang members are buying these. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that some of them may have been headed for Mexico at some point to cartel members here, or maybe even to other gang members in the Midwest or the east coast," said Steven Lovett, asst. special agent from ICE L.A.

"We know that the tentacles of L.A. gangs stretch out from here."

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