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Federal and local authorities in So. Cal arrest 47 during operation targeting drug cartel, Mexican mafia members

November 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal and local authorities in So. Cal arrest 47 during operation targeting drug cartel, Mexican mafia members ICE photo

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A joint investigation involving federal, state, and local authorities targeting high-ranking members of the Southland Mexican Mafia and a Mexican drug cartel led to 47 arrests and the seizure of 36 guns, along with 200 pounds of drugs last week in Southern California.

Among the items seized during the operation included assault rifles, 120 pounds of pot, 60 pounds of cocaine and 12 pounds of meth, $35,000 in cash derived from criminal proceeds in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to a statement issued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

“There is nothing more important than securing peace of mind that the neighborhood our children play in and that we work in is safe,” Becerra said. “We took a step in that direction with today’s arrest and seizure of firearms and drugs.”

The Justice Department-led operation that targeted members of a drug cartel and Southland Mexican Mafia was conducted by several law agencies in Southern California, including officers from the Riverside Police and deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, along with the district attorney’s offices in Riverside and Orange counties.

Anytime we can assist the department of justice, we’re happy to work with them,” said Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback told the Mercury News via email.

“These arrests are a step in pushing back against gangs and cartels that continue to spread crime and misery,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin stated in an email.

The two district attorney’s offices filed roughly 30 warrants, according to the press release, including warrants on solicitation to commit murder charges, assault with a deadly weapon, drug trafficking, firearm violations, extortion and conspiring for the benefit of a criminal gang.

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