A multi-agency task force of 500 law enforcement officers swooped down on members of the avenues gang on Drew Street yesterday morning. The crackdown netted 32 members or associates of the “Drew Street” clique of the avenues.
The operation, which began at 4 a.m., stemmed from a massive 157-page federal racketeering indictment targeting 70 members of the gang who lived on Drew Street in northeast Los Angeles. Federal and local law enforcement officers served 25 federal search warrants, and picked up 32 avenues gang members and associates in the pre-dawn raid. Twenty-six of the gang members who were indicted were already in local and federal custody including Maria “Chatta” Leon who is reputed to be the matriarch of a large family of drug-dealing gang members.
Her son, Francisco “Pancho” Real, the leader of the gang and the lead defendant in the indictment, was arrested along with some of his brothers. According to prosecutors, Mexican Mafia members authorized Francisco Real to take control of the area last summer.
Despite the massive sweep, more than a dozen gang members remain at large. They include:
Jose "Minor" Alvarado
German "Chispas" Real Ampude
Jose "Papucho" Aviles
Raul "Spanky" Borja
Raul "Raton" Carbajal
Juan "Gordy" Hernandez
Guillermo "Slim" Ocampo
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Michael "Cuba" Valcarce
Luis "Smalls" Vargas