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Home  >  Topics  >  Gangs

August 06, 2006
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Puerto Rican police arrest 11 members of two alleged drug gangs

The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico- Authorities arrested 11 members of two alleged gangs battling to control drugs sales at a government housing complex in northern Puerto Rico on Sunday, the U.S. territory's top police official said.

The arrests were made after police got a tip that members of a gang trying to take over the sales point had turned up with guns at the site in Carolina. When police arrived and began making arrests, the rival gang shot at authorities from the rooftops, said Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo.

One gang member was wounded by gunfire. Charges haven't been filed.

FBI agents were helping police search for gang members in the housing project.

Toledo said authorities believed the gang that controlled the area was once led by Jose "Coquito" Lopez, who was fatally shot on July 28.

Lopez allegedly controlled the drug trade in northeastern Puerto Rico. FBI agents are investigating allegations that rogue police officers acted as bodyguards and informants for Lopez at the center of a fast-growing political scandal in the island.

Carolina is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of the capital, San Juan.

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