We're telling you, if criminal organizations switched to old-timey names like the Eastside Benevolent Society and dressed in suits like the guys in Boardwalk Empire, there would be no heat.
When you belong to a set called “East Side Pain,” you display your neighborhood via large tattoos, and you allegedly engage in moving lots of meth and cocaine, the feds will eventually come knocking on your door.
On Thursday more than 800 federal and local law officers brought the pain to East Side Pain and nine other gangs in a massive drug-related series of raids that netted 35 arrests, resulted in charges for 40 total alleged criminals, and inspired federal indictments for 21 others who are at-large, according the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
The raids capped a three-year investigation of a meth and cocaine ring that operated through East Side Pain and other street gangs in L.A., Long Beach and La Puente.
There always has to be a corny name for these operations, and this one is no different: The feds are calling it “Operation Red Rein.”
As part of the bust the L.A. City Attorney filed an abatement lawsuit that aims to shut down drug trafficking at an L.A. Harbor area hotel.
A total of 61 suspects were indicted on suspicion of meth peddling, coke distribution and firearm violations.
Authorities said Wilmington's East Side Pain and Waterfront Pirus were at the core of the ring. Other gangs that allegedly moved weight include East Side Wilmas, North Side Wilmas, Harbor City Crips, Compton Avenue Crips, Fruit Town Piru, El Monte Flores and Primera Flats, the feds said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's statement:
This indictment charges Trond Thomas Sr., an East Side Pain member, and Robert Lee Campbell Jr., a Waterfront Piru, both of whom allegedly purchased powder cocaine from defendant Jesus Lamberto Olea, who is a member of the East Side Wilmas. The crack cocaine indictment also charges Marcos Louie Gallardo, a Puente 13 member, with selling cocaine to Thomas, who allegedly converted the powder cocaine to crack cocaine.
During the investigation into cocaine trafficking in the Harbor Area, authorities learned that in addition to selling cocaine, Gallardo was also selling large quantities of methamphetamine in La Puente. This part of the investigation resulted in a second indictment that focuses on the Puente 13 gang and charges 18 defendants in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
“As a result of this investigation and enforcement action, we've dismantled an entire drug trafficking network, from the street dealer to the actual supplier,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles.
The raids took down a meth lab and seized nearly 100 pot plants, according to the U.S. Attorney's statement.