Palmdale drug raid nets 43
DEA, sheriff, IRS, Immigration join forces
LANCASTER, Calif.—On Tuesday (Aug. 10), law enforcement officers in the Antelope Valley arrested 43 members and associates of a Pasadena-based street gang, 11 of whom are charged in federal indictments for allegedly trafficking in crack cocaine.
About three pounds of crack cocaine and 114 grams of powder cocaine were seized during a more than yearlong investigation, authorities said.
“Today’s arrests are an example of what can be achieved ... by combining federal, state, and local resources to have the greatest impact within our communities,” said Timothy J. Landrum, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s special agent in charge on Tuesday.
Sheriff’s Chief Neal Tyler said the multi-agency action that morning in the Antelope Valley “dealt a significant blow to crime.”
More than 400 law enforcement officers including several units of the sheriff’s department as well as the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were involved.
Thirty-two search warrants were served and 48 parole and probation searches were conducted at 80 locations in the Antelope Valley. The gang had branched out to the AV in recent years, Tyler said. Four children under the age of six were taken into protective custody during the raid because of unsafe living conditions.
The probe was triggered by the July 12, 2009, wounding of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, Giovanni Lampigano by Dejon Ray King in Palmdale, who was convicted in June of attempted murder on a peace officer and sentenced to 38 years to life, authorities said.
Eleven arrests made early Tuesday were based on two federal indictments handed down last Wednesday by a federal grand jury, according to Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The indictments named 23 defendants.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A former state Department of Public Social Services employee pleaded guilty today in Los Angeles to using stolen identities to file phony tax returns that each claimed thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
Veronica Niko, 36, of Lancaster, entered her plea to a federal identity theft charge before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who set sentencing for June 10, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Southland again will bake in dry heat today, creating what the National Weather Service (NWS) called an “elevated fire danger” falling short of red flag conditions.
“A strong upper-level high-pressure system in combination with weak onshore flow near the surface brought record-breaking triple-digit heat to portions of the valleys and foothills on Sunday,” noted an NWS advisory.
LANCASTER, Calif. — Blood drops found at Apollo Park in Lancaster led to charges being filed against a state prison inmate in connection with a burglary from storage containers at the park, authorities said today.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Parks Bureau found blood drops in and around the containers used to store miscellaneous equipment and items used to maintain the park, said Johnnie K. Jones of the sheriff’s Parks Bureau.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — High surf pounded the coast and fierce winds howled across the Southland today, with gusts topping 70 mph whipping the Saugus area and 50 mph in Lancaster.