Feds: Latino Gang Tried To Eliminate Blacks From L.A.
A suspected gang member is taken into custody. (KTLA-TV / May 21, 2009)
150 members and associates of a predominantly Latino street gang are being indicted in the shootings of black victims and other crimes, according to U.S. attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek.
The massive sweep is targeted at members of the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens street gang, Mrozek said.
Federal racketeering indictments detail attempted murder, kidnapping, firearms, narcotics and other charges related to the attacks by the gang.
According to the indictment, "Gang members take pride in their racism and often refer to their gang as a "Hate Gang."" The Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang expressed a desire to rid the city of Hawaiian Gardens of all African-Americans and have engaged in a systematic effort to achieve that result by perpetrating crimes against African-Americans."
The indictment alleges a string of attacks on black residents, including an instance where two of the gang members allegedly chased a black man, yelled a racial epithet at him and beat him with a garden rake. The same man was later repeatedly stabbed by the same two gang members, according to the indictment, which charges them with attempted murder.
The investigation was triggered four years ago with the murder of L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Luis Ortiz. Deputy Ortiz , 35, who was killed as he searched for Jose Luis Orozco, a member of the Hawaian Gardens gang. Orozco was sentenced to death for that murder in 2007.
The gang primarily operates in Hawaiian Gardens which is about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles.