By Dakota Smith
LOS ANGELES — Federal officials announced Tuesday the arrest and indictments of dozens of members of a South L.A. gang that allegedly used violence and intimidation to control an area west of downtown's Skid Row district.
The arrest and indictments were the culmination of a three-year investigation, said Bill L. Lewis assistant director in FBI's Los Angeles Division.
The sting targeted the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips, which had about 200 members, officials said. At least 45 people were arrested Tuesday, while officials named 72 defendants in a 213-page racketeering federal indictment that outlines two decades of alleged criminal conduct, including murder.
The investigation into the Broadway Crips was called Operation Gremlin Riderz, officials said, named for a violent subset of the gang.
Los Angeles Police Captain David Kalowski said the gang has "terrorized the Broadway corridor" at least since the 1970s.
In addition to committing acts of murder, the Broadway Crips sold drugs near the Skid Row section of downtown Los Angeles, officials allege. "This area is desirable to the gang because it is close to Skid Row, where there is a large and vulnerable customer base of drug addicts and mentally ill persons," the indictment states.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
City Attorney Mike Feuer said that in addition to the federal action, the city has filed three civil lawsuits targeting properties that are allegedly linked to the crimes. Two of the properties are near elementary schools, Feuer said.
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