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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / San Fernando
Valley

13 Alleged Vagos Gang Members Arrested

October 29, 1998

Federal and state law enforcement agents arrested 13 alleged members of the Vagos motorcycle gang this week in the San Fernando Valley, San Diego and Las Vegas, charging them with possessing stolen explosives, a cache of illegal firearms and methamphetamine.

The arrests resulted from a nearly two-year investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. From the same investigation, five other Vagos gang members were charged in May with kidnapping, robbery, drug possession and weapons offenses, said ATF Special Agent John D'Angelo.

The explosives--roughly 40 pounds of commercial blasting agents stolen from a construction site in the Imperial Valley--were found hidden in a house just outside of San Diego, D'Angelo said. About 60 machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles were found in the house, he said.

Three members from Reseda, San Fernando and Northridge were charged with illegally possessing firearms and several in Las Vegas were accused of kidnapping, torture, extortion and racketeering, ATF officials said. More weapons-related arrests in the Valley are expected later this week, said officials of the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

ATF officials said the investigation was launched in 1997 after informants tipped them off to plans within the 200-member gang to increase criminal activities in the Southwestern United States.

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