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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

5 Arrested in Alleged Black Market Scheme

November 11, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Five suspects have been arrested on suspicion of stealing computers, tires and other merchandise to sell on the black market in Los Angeles, the FBI said.

All the arrests were made Wednesday, FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said. She said Ervin Ronald Amiel, 50, and Talal Khodr Khaled, 49, were taken into custody in Los Angeles. Juan Luis Villalobos, 35, was arrested in Seattle; David Vigil, 35, in Denver; and Machum Halpert, 43, in New Jersey.

The five face charges of theft from interstate shipments, interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy, Bosley said.

Indictments filed in Los Angeles say that Villalobos headed a gang that stole cargo in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington.

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