Authorities in Los Angeles indicted 29 alleged members and associates of the Wilmas street gang on Wednesday and hit them with federal racketeering charges that allege acts of murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, robbery and witness intimidation – as well as a series of armed attacks on law enforcement officers dating back to 2008.
The 29 defendants were targeted in Operation Tidal Wave, a join-investigation by the LAPD, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, and FBI. Seventeen defendants were arrested early Wednesday morning, while ten others were already in custody on unrelated charges. Authorities are continuing to search for two defendants. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized nearly eight pounds of methamphetamine and 10 firearms, including one linked to a shooting.
The Wilmas gang has operated in the Wilmington District of Los Angeles since the 1950s and is affiliated with the Mexican Mafia. As a “surenos” gang, the Wilmas gang “is loyal to, supports and contributes to the Mexican Mafia,” according to the indictment, which explains how leaders of the prison gang issue orders to kill rival gang members and members of law enforcement.
The indictment outlines a criminal enterprise that controls the drug trade in Wilmington, collects “taxes” from drug dealers for the benefit of Mexican Mafia members, maintains a supply of often-illegal firearms, and takes retribution against people who may be cooperating with law enforcement. Wilmas gang members murdered two 16-year-old victims on February 26, 2012, according to the indictment.
“The Wilmas gang is also a racist organization and has been historically antagonistic to the presence of African-Americans in Wilmas gang territory,” the indictment alleges. “Wilmas gang members have frequently targeted African-Americans who enter or attempt to reside within the area claimed by the Wilmas gang.”
“This federal indictment seeks to dismantle the leadership of the Wilmas street gang, a particularly violent street gang that regularly targets members of the community and law enforcement officers for murder,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The devastating impact that this gang has had on the community cannot be overstated, but today’s takedown will help to restore order across Wilmington and ensure that those responsible for the violence and other criminal acts will be taken off the streets for years.”
Most of the 29 defendants named in the indictment face potential life sentences if they are convicted, and a majority potentially face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison.
Get the latest on organized crime and the Mafia first at the Gangsters Inc. news section.
If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy reading:
- Wolf Boys gives hellish look into Mexican cartel underworld
- Profile: Jalisco New Generation cartel boss Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes
- VIDEO: Nephew of Gulf cartel boss shot dead by sicario
- Jennifer Lopez stars as drug lord Griseldo Blanco in new HBO movie
- Power Play: The kidnapping and release of El Chapo's son
- Sinaloa cartel operation busted in New York
- Pablo Escobar's war on Colombia
- Colombian drug kingpin gets 35 years in prison for coke conspiracy
- Escobar vs Cali: War of the Cartels
- Godmother Griselda Blanco shot to death in Colombia
- Clock is ticking: Mexico approves El Chapo's extradition to US
- Mexican drug boss El Chapo Guzman recaptured
- Mexican cartels tighten iron grip on US drug markets
- Top 5 drug lords killed while on the run
- Did El Chapo put a $100 million bounty on Trump or not?
- How ATF's Fast and Furious crashed and burned
- Spotlight on Tampa Mafia with tour and magazine
- Gangsters Inc. sits down with FBI agent Jack Garcia
Copyright © Gangsters Inc.