La Eme connected Florencia 13 members were convicted Monday in a federal RICO case that included allegations of attempte murder, firearm violations and drug charges. A large component of the case rested on the gang targeting blacks, according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice.
Here’s the release:
Ten members and associates of Florencia 13 (F13), a street gang involved in narcotics distribution and shootings of African-Americans, were convicted today on a host of federal criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution.
The 10 defendants were found guilty today after a 3-month trial. They are among 102 defendants named in four F13-related indictments that were returned by a federal grand jury in the fall of 2007. The investigation into F13, which was called Operation Joker’s Wild, led to the largest gang takedown in American history, with 96 of the 102 defendants being taken into custody. Seventy-six of the defendants have now been convicted, either at trial or as the result of guilty pleas, with the remaining defendants pending trial.
“The investigation into Florencia 13 demonstrated the power of law enforcement coming together to combat organized street gangs,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “This gang – which targeted African-Americans, whether or not they posed a threat to the gang’s drug-trafficking operations – posed an imminent danger. As a result of this prosecution, the residents of South Los Angeles can live a little easier knowing that these dangerous gangsters have been taken off the street.”
John A. Torres, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, stated: “We are very pleased with the verdicts today. This sends a clear message that the community will not tolerate the heinous activity perpetrated by Florencia 13. These convictions will go a long way toward reducing violence and returning peace to the neighborhoods.”
Azusa PD and Baldwin Park PD officers took part in the operation, officials said.