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20 alleged MS-13 gang members charged after FBI raid

Federal charges have been brought against 20 alleged members of a notorious gang on the west side of downtown Los Angeles. The gang is known as the Mara Salvatrucha gang, often called the MS-13 gang. This particular gang allegedly has several thousand estimated members nationwide as well as in Mexico. They are well-known, according to authorities, for Mexican Mafia ties and alleged brutality.

The alleged gang members were taken into custody on Dec. 10 following an FBI operation called "Operation Daily Double," which was aimed at confirming allegations of gang-related extortion and drug trafficking in the area. During the raid, weapons and amphetamines were reportedly seized, and DCFS removed seven children from the residence.

Those who were federally indicted or are facing other charges include 12 from Los Angeles, one from Kansas City, one from Valencia and one who is an alleged fugitive of Lynwood. Neither age nor city was given for the remainder of the defendants. Prior to the raid, three of the 20 alleged gang members were already in custody.

Agents stated that the operation targeted heads of the gang organization rather than street-level criminals. One of the members taken into custody was the 35-year-old alleged head of their moneymaking activity. Over a period of several years, the FBI apparently discovered the identities of key players and their modus operandi by infiltrating the gang and buying weapons and drugs from them.

As in this story, sometimes a large number of people could be accused of being gang members, but they still have rights. When any Californian is facing drug charges, a conviction could result in serious penalties, including jail time. A criminal law attorney could help by negotiating a plea bargain, examining the evidence and procedures followed by law enforcement in order to build a solid defense.

Source: ABC 7, "FBI raid targets Mara Salvatrucha gang in Los Angeles", Leo Stallworth , December 10, 2013

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