Wilmas Gang with ties to Mexican Mafia raided in Wilmington, officials say

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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More than two dozen suspected members of the Wilmas Gang with ties to the Mexican Mafia were taken into custody in Wilmington during Operation Tidal Wave.

WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Authorities launched a massive operation Wednesday morning to target a drug and weapons ring in Wilmington being orchestrated by the Wilmas Gang and affiliated with the Mexican Mafia.

Operation Tidal Wave was part of a three-year investigation and resulted with more than two dozen men and women being taken into custody.

"The indictment names 29 individuals, 10 of which were already in custody," Special Agent Timothy Massino with the Drug Enforcement Administration explained.

At least 10 firearms were confiscated in the raids, according to officials. The sting was a joint operation by the Los Angeles Police Department, the DEA and U.S. Marshals.

The Southern California Drug Task Force stated the gang had operated in the Wilmington area since the 1950s and were affiliated with the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

"This gang has been notorious for major street violence in the area, ranging from murder, attempted murder, assault on police officers, and narcotics trafficking and sales," Lt. Chris Ramirez with the LAPD said.

"Types of drugs range from heroin, methamphetamine, pretty much anything, any hard street drug," Massino stated.

Officials said members of the gang allegedly murdered two 16-year-old victims in 2012. A federal indictment alleged a female victim in the case was executed when she was shot in the head 10 times.

"Very dangerous and ruthless individuals, these members haven't hesitated to carry out assaults on law enforcement officers and other members of the public as well," Massino said.

LAPD and DEA officials said the operation targeted high-level players in the gang who direct criminal activity in Wilmington. Officials hoped that crime would decrease in the area following the sting.

"Ultimately what this takedown is about today is making the community of Wilmington a little bit safer," Massino said.