DEA Task Force Targets Lancaster Street Gang
APR 09 -- (LOS ANGELES) – On April 8, 2009, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum, U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced the culmination of a 12-month investigation targeting the drug trafficking activities of the Lancas 13 street gang. The Lancas 13 street gang is responsible for distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana throughout the Lancaster and Palmdale areas, and as far away as Ohio. This joint investigation has resulted in 97 arrests, and the seizure of 51 firearms, as well as distribution quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
In March, 2009, 10 individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana. During the morning hours of April 8, 2009, officers arrested 9 individuals charged in the federal indictment. The individuals arrested are all believed to be active members of the Lancas 13 street gang, a violent street gang involved in drug trafficking and violent criminal activity in the Lancaster and Palmdale areas. An additional 17 individuals were arrested this morning and will be charged for violations of California State law.
“Early this morning, as a result of a 12-month joint investigation, 26 members of the violent LANCAS 13 street gang were arrested throughout the Antelope Valley area,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum. “Today’s enforcement efforts will have a significant impact within the Lancaster and Palmdale communities, because those arrested include not just the street level drug dealers, but the leadership of this gang, those responsible for supplying meth and crack cocaine into our neighborhoods. By combining federal, state and local resources, these gang members have been taken off the streets and are now facing federal charges and federal prison time.”
This case is the product of a 12-month investigation by the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), which is made up of agents and officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Los Angeles HIDTA received significant contributions to this investigation from: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Unites States Marshal’s Service (USMS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.