Authorities indicted two dozen members and associates of a Pasadena-based gang that was working with the Sinaloa cartel to sell methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin from Mexico.
Dubbed Operation Rose Bud, the 18-month investigation targeted members of Varrio Pasadena Rifa, a multi-generational gang known to sell drugs in the city, the Antelope Valley and Kern County, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said during a news conference Thursday.
More than $2.5 million in narcotics was seized during the operation, officials said.
Sanchez said at least a dozen of the men targeted in three federal drug dealing indictments unsealed Thursday were in custody after early morning raids.
In total, 24 people were indicted. Of those, 12 were arrested Thursday and seven were already in custody. Five remain fugitives.
Those arrested include Jose Salvador Villa, a 37-year-old leader of the San Gabriel Valley part of the gang.
Tim Delaney, special agent in charge of the FBI's criminal division in Los Angeles, said the narcotics were brought in via the Mexico-based Sinaloa cartel, whose associates oversaw the operation in the Antelope Valley.
"We have a Sinaloa infusion into Southern California," said L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, whose detectives were part of the San Gabriel Valley task force involved in the lengthy operation.
Steve Woodland, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles, said the gang operated a conversion lab that cut the drugs and then sold them to others. Woodland said the area is point of passage to other locations.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun