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Drug Trafficking Los Angeles County

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 1997 | GREG KRIKORIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After a three-year investigation, authorities announced Wednesday that 16 purported members of the Bounty Hunters street gang were indicted on charges of manufacturing and distributing about $30 million worth of PCP throughout Los Angeles County. The grand jury indictments against the defendants, all but one of them now in custody, could put an immediate crimp in the countywide manufacture and sales of the powerful drug, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1997
Police serving an arrest warrant at a Long Beach motel seized 139 pounds of marijuana, officials said Friday. Officers arrested Bell resident Victor Zazueta, 33, a suspect in a previous narcotics case, after staking out a Days Inn motel in the 5900 block of Long Beach Boulevard on Thursday evening. Cpl. Harry Erickson said officers recovered 65 kilo-sized bricks--an amount with an estimated street value of at least $70,000--inside Zazueta's motel room shortly before 11 p.m.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1997 | DADE HAYES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A drug conviction has cost the owner of a Van Nuys restaurant his liquor license, officials at the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said Friday. Roberto Chavez, 30, pleaded no contest in February 1996 to possession of cocaine for sale. The Bell resident, who ran Rimini Italian Restaurant in the 14000 block of Victory Boulevard, had been arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after buying $18,000 worth of cocaine from an undercover officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 1997 | GEORGE RAMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Defense attorneys in the Mexican Mafia trial in Los Angeles federal court began their case Wednesday by continuing to attack the prosecution's key witness, a former Mexican Mafia prison gang member who turned against the group. The defense's first witness was Los Angeles sheriff's Det. Roy Nunez, who was a chief handler of Ernest "Chuco" Castro, who testified for nearly two months against the 13 defendants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 1997 | GEORGE RAMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After 4 1/2 months of presenting 104 witnesses, 15 secret videotapes and more than 200 secret audio recordings, the prosecution rested Friday in its racketeering and conspiracy case against 13 reputed members and associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Assistant U.S. Atty. Lisa Lench rested the government's case after playing one last audio tape that turned out to have a prophetic touch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 1997 | GEORGE RAMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the prosecution's chief witness in the Mexican Mafia trial finally completed his testimony, it wasn't soon enough for the supporters of the 13 defendants on trial. "Get out of here," muttered one relative in the audience as Ernest (Chuco) Castro left the Los Angeles courtroom Friday after spending nearly two months on the witness stand, testifying against his former brethren in the Mexican Mafia prison gang.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 1997 | GEORGE RAMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The prosecution's chief witness in the Mexican Mafia trial in Los Angeles federal court admitted Wednesday that he had said that actor Edward James Olmos was "fair game" if someone "wanted to do whatever" to him, but denied that he was advocating violence. The admission by Ernest "Chuco" Castro helped bolster defense arguments that Castro, and not the 13 defendants, instigated many of the misdeeds detailed in the federal government's case against the Eme, the street nickname for the prison gang.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1997 | GEORGE RAMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After prosecutors played audiotapes depicting the defendants in the Mexican Mafia federal trial as murderers and drug dealers, a defense attorney sought to portray his client differently Thursday by playing a tape indicating that he favored the end of drive-by shootings to stop gang violence. On a tape played in court by defense attorney Jay T.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1997
Pasadena Police Chief Barney Melekian said an extensive police investigation and review of cases has found no evidence to connect the CIA or Nicaraguan Contras to the sale of crack cocaine in Pasadena during the last two decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1997 | BILL BOYARSKY
A six-block stretch of Inglewood, directly under the approach to Los Angeles International Airport, is prisoner to drugs, guns and a gang that authorities say is supported by both of those evils. America's virtually free market in handguns gives the Crenshaw Mafia Gang, a subgroup of the Bloods, its deadly power, according to police. And the drug trade, investigators say, provides it revenue--enough money, in fact, for the gang to help produce a rap video portraying the members' violent lives.
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