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24 indicted in crackdown on Pasadena gang linked to drug cartel – Pasadena gang’s partnership with Sinaloa cartel indicates a growing presence of Mexican drug cartels in Southern California

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Federal prosecutors unsealed indictments Thursday against two dozen members  and associates of a Pasadena-based gang that worked with the Sinaloa cartel to  sell methamphetamine,  cocaine and heroin from Mexico, officials said.

Dubbed Operation Rosebud, the 18-month investigation targeted members of  Varrio Pasadena Rifa, a multi-generational gang known to sell drugs in the city  with operations in the Antelope Valley and Kern County, Pasadena Police Chief  Phillip Sanchez said in a news conference Thursday.

Sanchez said at least a dozen of the men targeted in three federal  drug-dealing indictments were in custody after early morning raids Thursday.  With the previous arrest or deportation of several others, five remained  fugitives.

More than $2.5 million in narcotics was seized during the operation that  involved substantial surveillance and eavesdropping on the gang’s coded  conversations about its drug trade with associates of the Sinaloa cartel,  Mexico’s most powerful drug and crime organization, officials said.

“We have a Sinaloa infusion into Southern California,” said Los Angeles  County Sheriff Lee Baca, whose  detectives were part of a federal task force made up of Pasadena police, the FBI  and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Timothy J. Delaney, special agent in charge of the FBI’s criminal division in  Los Angeles, said the Sinaloa cartel is a primary supplier of drugs in Southern  California.

“I do believe it is a growing presence,” he said.

In this case, the Mexico-based Sinaloa cartel had an associate working with  the gang. The associate delivered drugs to Jose Salvador Villa, a 37-year-old  leader of the gang in the San Gabriel Valley, according to one of the  indictments handed down Dec. 3.

The suburban streets of Pasadena and its surrounding cities served as a  backdrop for many drug transactions. More than 60 pounds of narcotics were  delivered to various locations, including the top of a supermarket parking  structure on Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard, an Altadena home and an Arcadia car  wash, authorities allege.

The 24 people named in the three indictments face a variety of drug  conspiracy charges that could have them facing more than a decade in federal  prison.





About Doc

Spreading the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.

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