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California Briefing / SANTA BARBARA

9 gang members arrested in sweep

October 16, 2008|Steve Chawkins

Attempting to stem a wave of street violence, authorities Wednesday arrested nine gang members on suspicion of crimes that include racketeering, weapons violations, assaults, drug sales and murder.

Officers from local police and sheriff's departments, the FBI, the DEA and other agencies picked the men up after a federal grand jury in Los Angeles last week issued a 74-page indictment against members of the Eastside gang.

According to the indictment, the 150 members of the Eastside gang took orders from the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Their alleged crimes include the 2007 murders of two rival gang members and the attempted murders of six others. They also allegedly intimidated trial witnesses and engaged in random attacks to bolster their status within the organization.

In addition to the nine men arrested Wednesday, the indictment charged 17 who were already in state prison and would be turned over to federal authorities. Two others were being sought.

-- Steve Chawkins

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