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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
January 14, 2003

For Further Information:
Contact: Elizabeth Jordan
(212) 620-4930

Alleged Bronx Gang Leader Arrested in Connection with Operation of Methamphetamine Laboratory Near NYC Public School

Mototcycles seized from members of Satan's SoldiersSpecial Agent in Charge Anthony P. Placido announced the arrest of Angelo Cruz, the alleged leader of a motorcycle gang calling itself the "Satan's Soldiers." On December 19, 2002, law enforcement officers seized a methamphetamine laboratory and arrested other alleged members of the gang that operated the lab in a Bronx lot located across the street from a New York City elementary school. In addition to producing methamphetamine at that location, the gang stored a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition there, according to a complaint unsealed today.

Methamphetamine is a controlled substance, which until recently, has been primarily abused in the southwestern and Western United States. It is typically manufactured in clandestine laboratories located in that region, as well as Mexico. Because the chemical used in clandestine methamphetamine labs are explosive and often poisonous, such operations can present a significant danger to the surrounding community.

Upon searching the Lot, which is located across the street from Community School 47, the agents discovered a trailer containing what appeared to be a fully operational methamphetamine lab. In a second trailer, the agents found guns and ammunition, including an Intertec Tec-9 with a defaced serial number, two magazine cartridges, and 47 live rounds of ammunition, as well as a black shotgun along with 17 live 12-guage shotgun shells.

Video cameras were found stationed on and around the lot, apparently for the purpose of detecting law enforcement, and video monitors connected to the cameras were found in a rear building structure on the lot, which served as the gang's clubhouse and headquarter, it was charged. In the clubhouse, agents also found various weapons including a loaded Mossburg pistol grip shotgun, a Remington .22 caliber handgun, four 12-gauge shotgun shells, four gun silencers, sic knives, a taser gun, a slingshot, and a pair of brass knuckles according to the complaint. Approximately $40,000 in cash was also seized.

Cruz, the alleged leader of the Satan's Soldiers Gang, was located on January 14, 2003 by members of the Drug Enforcement Task Force, a unit comprised of DEA, NYPD and NYSP law enforcement officers. Cruz is said to be the fourth and highest ranking member of the gang to be arrested. The other alleged members who were arrested on December 20, 2002 are John William Kelly, Ralph Walter Hall and Peter Schultz. Each of the defendants faces narcotics charges that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. The prosecution is being conducted by the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.

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