LOS ANGELES, (UPI) — Authorities in Los Angeles said they broke up a drug-trafficking alliance involving a drug cartel, a venerable street gang and the notorious Mexican Mafia.
Two federal grand jury indictments led to a series of arrests in the Los Angeles area Tuesday targeting the Florencia 13 gang and the La Familia Michoacana cartel as well as members of the Mexican Mafia.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles said the indictments alleged the Mexican Mafia had struck a deal with La Familia to give the cartel direct access to the street-level drug-dealing activities of Florencia 13.
“We have demonstrated our ability to stop the Mexican Mafia from realizing a new power base by disrupting the gang’s plot to establish an alliance with a major drug trafficking organization,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte said in a written statement.
The statement said the Mexican Mafia directed the Florencia 13 drug business. Some Mexican Mafia leaders, in fact, began their criminal careers with Florencia 13, which the statement described as “one of the largest, most powerful and oldest street gangs in Southern California.”
Mexican Mafia leaders allegedly struck a deal with La Familia to give the cartel “free rein” to sell meth throughout Southern California and also provide protection for La Familia members in U.S. prisons. In return, La Familia provided the Mexican Mafia with a piece of the action and discounted prices on wholesale meth and marijuana.
The street gang provided protection for La Familia members and their products in the United States and also provided muscle for debt collection, the indictment alleged.