Lennox 13 Gang Raid Nets 27 Arrests Following 18-month Probe
27 people affiliated with the Lennox 13 gang have been arrested in an operation employing nearly 500 law enforcement personnel. A raid was conducted this morning as the culmination of an 18-month probe by a joint federal-state team, according to the Department of Justice. "Some of those taken into custody today face federal charges, others will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution on various offenses, and some are allegedly illegal immigrants who face criminal prosecution and deportation." The charges range from federal racketeering, federal weapons, state narcotics, probation violations, federal criminal charges of illegal re-entry after deportation, suspicion of being illegal aliens.
The Lennox 13 is a local gang with about 650 members, of which about 250 are known to be involved in criminal activity. The street gang was formed in the 1960s by Mexican-Americans in the Lennox area of L.A. The “13” stands for the letter M and was added to the gang’s name about 20 years ago when it became associated with the Mexican Mafia.
An 11-count indictment charges 15 defendants, and "alleges that drug sales comprised the bulk of the gang’s profits." Some of the gang's revenue was paid to the Mexican Mafia in the form of a tax that provided them with protection and helped them operate drug sales in their territory.
“Today’s joint operation has dealt a serious blow to a ruthless and dangerous street gang operating here in the Los Angeles area,” said Claude Arnold, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles.