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IN BRIEF Orange County / SANTA ANA

16 arrested in sweep of Townsend Street

November 03, 2006|From Times staff and wire reports

Sixteen alleged members or associates of a Santa Ana street gang were arrested Thursday following a yearlong undercover investigation into drug sales in their neighborhood, police said.

Three of them -- Juan Verdin, 28, Adrian Nava, 24, and Jesus Vasquez, 41 -- were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana today, according to a statement by the FBI, which acted jointly with the Santa Ana Police Department.

Those arrested are believed to be associated with the Townsend Street gang operating roughly in the 800 and 900 blocks of South Townsend Street, authorities said.

"They were intimidating local residents," police spokesman Cmdr. Baltazar De La Riva said of the suspects.

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