Dozens of people allegedly part of Los Angeles’ 38th Street gang face a wide variety of charges after recent arrests were carried out in South Central L.A. and elsewhere.

Thirty-seven people were arrested on a federal racketeering indictment alleging that they have carried out murders, engaged in drug trafficking, committed weapons offenses and other crimes. Twenty others were arrested on state drugs and weapons charges.

More than 800 law enforcement officers were used to make the arrests.

Law enforcement made a long string of allegations against 38th Street members. Several members are accused of dressing up as FBI agents, invading a South Gate home, kidnapping a man and then killing him with a gunshot to the head.

At least one member is accused of requiring a 14-year-old girl to complete an initiation ritual by shooting a member of another gang.

In all, 87 people were targeted in the indictment: 37 were arrested on charges that they’ve violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, 20 more on state charges, another 14 were already in custody and a number of others have not been taken into custody.

Members of the LAPD, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies seized:

  • Seven kilograms of cocaine
  • A pound of methamphetamine
  • Twenty-three firearms

They also seized approximately $250,000 in cash during the raids.

If convicted under the RICO statute, a person can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each count. All cash and possessions obtained by engaging in the alleged criminal activity can also be seized by the federal government under the controversial law.

Resource: Los Angeles Times, “38th Street gang members arrested in federal indictment alleging murder, drug trafficking,” February 1, 2011