LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Eleven people were taken into custody on federal and state narcotics and weapons charges after a multi-agency operation that focused on the Harbor area of Los Angeles.
Operation Wipe Out started in December 2020 and targeted some of the most dangerous members of the Westside Wilmas gang and their associates. Authorities said some were even working with the cartel from behind bars.
"The investigation expanded beyond the Westside Wilmas and into the upper echelons of the Mexican Mafia," the FBI said in a statement.
The joint investigation included personnel from the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department. Authorities on Wednesday served search warrants throughout the South Bay and as far away as Bakersfield.
Many of those arrested were "gang members and their associates who were peddling large quantities of dangerous drugs and weapons at the behest of the Mexican mafia," Thom Mrozek, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office, said during a news conference on Wednesday.
Law enforcement authorities say dismantling the leadership will make the Harbor area safer.
"We're talking about well over 50 pounds of methamphetamine, about 23,000 fentanyl pills, more than 5 pounds of powdered fentanyl and 23 firearms, some of which were ghost guns," Mrozek said as he described the items seized during the operation.
Authorities are still searching for three fugitives associated with Operation Wipe Out.