In a well-coordinated series of early morning raids, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) joined forces to carry out operations against the “Mexican Mafia.” These operations resulted in the seizure of a substantial amount of drugs and firearms, as well as the apprehension of over half a dozen individuals.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, the raids specifically targeted two Los Angeles gangs believed to have connections with Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. During the operation conducted before sunrise on Wednesday, authorities confiscated approximately 23,000 fentanyl pills, 5 pounds of powdered fentanyl, and 57 pounds of methamphetamine.
“It’s unbelievable how many people may have died as a result of these drugs once they hit the street,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said at a San Pedro, Cali., press conference reported on by KTLA.
Authorities have reported that “Operation Wipe Out” led to the arrest of 11 individuals and the seizure of nearly 20 firearms. The targeted gangs in this operation were identified as the Westside Wilmas and Eastside Wilmas, as confirmed by officials.
Sign up for The Daily NY Newsletter
Latest world updates straight in your inbox
“Law enforcement believes the Wilmas gangs are controlled by separate Mexican Mafia members who are each serving a life sentence in a California state prison after being convicted of murder,” the Attorney’s Office alleged in its statement. “One Mexican Mafia associate directs firearm and drug sales from prison despite being sentenced to death for murder.”
One Westside Wilma taken into police custody is accused of selling “firearms — including semi-automatic weapons lacking a serial number,” also known as “ghost guns” — outside a high school and a grade school in early 2023.