Federal agents cracked down members of a Latino Riverside gang that allegedly uses MySpace to communicate about gang business and rap videos to promote itself as it also trafficks methamphetamine and attacks random African-Americans.
Six members of Riverside's Eastside Riva (ESR) gang were arrested Wednesday morning based on criminal complaints filed against 20 of the gangsters; nine are already in custody and five our outstanding, federal authorities said. The gang is alleged to "act under the control of the Mexican Mafia" prison gang in its criminal pursuits, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement.
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According to a summary of the main complaint against most of the 20 suspects, "ESR members use MySpace.com to communicate about gang business, and they use rap music videos and recordings to deliver messages of violence and intimidation."
The summary also states that "ESR is hostile to the presence of African-Americans in ESR territory, even if they are not affiliated with a gang."
Feds state that ESR is a 20-year-old gang with about 500 members and allegiance to the Mexican Mafia, to which it allegedly pays a tribute, or "taxes," from its narcotics sales and other income. FBI agents along with authorities from the DEA, Riverside Police and more began investigating the group more than a year ago. They "allege numerous methamphetamine transactions, as well as tactics that ESR uses to maintain power and to cooperate with the Mexican Mafia."
The six arrestees were due in court Wednesday afternoon.