Feds Charge 147 In L.A.-Area City Antigang Sweep



Federal authorities have accused a Los Angeles street gang of a litany of crimes, including the murder of a sheriff’s deputy and racially motivated attacks designed to drive African Americans from their town, reports the Los Angeles Times. The charges, part of a massive racketeering case dubbed Operation Knock Out, were outlined in several indictments charging 147 members and associates of the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang with murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, and witness intimidation.The gang, known as VHG, is so pervasive in Hawaiian Gardens that one in 15 people living in the square-mile city just north of Long Beach has ties to it, said Sal Hernandez, the FBI’s top agent in Los Angeles. “Imagine living in a community where one in every 15 of your neighbors swears allegiance to an organization committed to the spread of violence,” he said. “The good people deserve to live in peace.” Early morning raids yesterday involved approximately 1,400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers who fanned out across the small, densely populated city and surrounding areas. Seventeen SWAT teams helped make the arrests.

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