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Mexican Mafia gang bust in Southern California

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Murder in Orange County sparked a wider probe that resulted in the arrests of 85 "middle manager" Mexican Mafia gang members and the seizure of weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency.

Murder in Orange County sparked a wider probe that resulted in the arrests of 85 “middle manager” Mexican Mafia gang members and the seizure of weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency.

The Mexican gang takedown, dubbed Operation Scarecrow, grew out of the investigation into a fatal shooting that occurred on Christmas day 2016 in the 25000 block of Avenida Cabrillo. Although that slaying remains unsolved, it led to 85 arrests and the seizure of 36 guns. NBC Los Angeles reported.

Murder in Orange County sparked a wider probe that resulted in the arrests of 85 "middle manager" Mexican Mafia gang members and the seizure of weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency.

Authorities seized 14 pounds of methamphetamine and 3 pounds of heroin, along with bogus money, credit card readers and stolen vehicles, according to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes.

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Many women arrested were dubbed “secretaries” for carrying information from inmates out to the streets, officials told NBC Los Angeles.

The name of the operation refers to the street moniker “Crow” of one of the Mexican Mafia suspects.

Murder in Orange County sparked a wider probe that resulted in the arrests of 85 "middle manager" Mexican Mafia gang members and the seizure of weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency.

“The intelligence gathered helped us to prevent many crimes, including attempted murder,” Becerra told reporters.

The murder investigation “branched off” into the crackdown on the Mexican Mafia, Barnes said.

Detectives executed 37 search warrants in the investigation, resulting in the filing of 31 criminal cases, Barnes said.

Barnes acknowledged the arrests are a “drop in the bucket” against a criminal enterprise as far-reaching as the Mexican Mafia, but he said it would be disruptive’ to the Mexican gang.



He also said he expected the Christmas Day 2016 homicide to be “solved soon.”

Mexican Mafia boss Peter Ojeda in Orange County sentenced to federal prison two years ago for continuing to run his gang from prison, but Barnes said he’s “sure” that Ojeda remains an influence locally.

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The 85 defendants arrested represent a “very small percentage” of local gang members, but their incarceration will “significantly” affect the Mexican Mafia’s trade locally, Barnes said. Most of the arrested suspects are members of a local gang that operate under the umbrella of the Mexican Mafia, which has a few hundred actual members in the Southland, authorities said.

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Parents arrested after ten kids found in horrible living conditions

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Two people were arrested after Fairfield Police Department say ten kids were rescued from horrible living conditions.

Two people were arrested after Fairfield Police Department say ten kids were rescued from horrible living conditions.

According to the Fairfield Police Department, officers returned a missing 12-year-old boy to a home on Fieldstone Court on March 31. The officers investigated inside the house, citing health and safety concerns.

Detectives say, nine other kids, ranging in age from 4 months to 11 years old, were inside the house in horrible living conditions, police officers described as “unsafe” and “squalor.” FOX40 News reported.

“And we love you so much,” said the kid’s mother, 30-year-old Ina Rogers. “I can’t talk to you right now but babies, if you see this, your mommy loves you. Every day I am working for you, Okay?”

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Ina Rogers is now out of jail on bail and sent the message to her 11 children, who have been taken away from her and her husband, Jonathan Allen.

“Garbage and spoiled food on the floor. Animal and human feces and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable,” said Police Lt. Greg Hurlbut.

Rogers claims that mess came from her tearing the house apart to look for her son. At that point, Rogers children were taken by child protective services, and she was arrested for neglect and abuse.

During the following six weeks, detectives say the children started to open up about how Allen was treating them. The allegations against the two parents, based on statements the kids made to other relatives now caring for them and to detectives, go back to 2014.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry says there were “incidents of torture” uncovered when officials began speaking to the kids.



“The children described incidents of intentional abuse, resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun or a BB gun,” Lt. Hurlbut said.

Police officers arrested Allen, charging him with 9 counts of felony torture and 6 counts of child abuse. He is being held on $5.25 million bails.

“That’s why this is crazy,” Rogers said. “He was the nice guy. He was the one playing video games with them when I’m telling them, ‘We need to clean up and do chores.'”

The children were homeschooled, and all slept in the same room. Neighbors say they rarely, if ever, saw them outside.

“No, not at all and our house butts up from that court area, and I think we would have heard them. We would have seen them,” said neighbor Debra Garren.

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Rogers allowed FOX40 News to see the conditions inside her house, but she claimed the mess was made by the police when they arrested Allen.

“They tore up everything, and I haven’t had time to clean it because I’ve been back and forth to work. I work graveyard, so,” Rogers said.

But police officers say the horrible living conditions between their first visit in March and their second visit had not improved.

“So objects were obviously, probably moved while conducting that search but that was not the basis for the charges regarding the environment the children were in though,” Hurlbut said.

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Glendale cop arrested for lying about gang ties

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A Glendale cop was arrested on charges he lied to FBI investigators about his ties to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.

A Glendale cop was arrested on charges he lied to FBI investigators about his ties to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.

Federal officials say, Detective John Saro Balian, 45, a Seal Beach resident, lied on multiple occasions to law enforcement agencies about his links to members of the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime. ABC7 reported.

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They allege Balian was in contact with several gang members, taking money from them in exchange for information and tipping them off about raids on marijuana grows. They also say he helped dispose of a firearm that was used in a shooting and was involved in extortion plots.



They say he misled investigators with the FBI, the LAPD and Homeland Security about his relationships with those organized crime figures.

Glendale cop was arrested at his home without incident.

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If convicted of making false statements to federal investigators, he faces up to five years in federal prison.

The Glendale Police Department said it is cooperating with the investigation and Balian is on administrative leave without pay during the investigation.

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Mexican federal police commander enters no contest plea to obstructing U.S. investigation into drug cartel

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A former high-ranking commander in the Mexican federal police entered a no contest plea in U.S. District Court to the charges of obstruction of justice and conspiring with others to corruptly impede a U.S.-based narcotics trafficking investigation.

A former high-ranking commander in the Mexican federal police entered a no contest plea in U.S. District Court to the charges of obstruction of justice and conspiring with others to corruptly impede a U.S. based narcotics trafficking investigation.

A no contest plea is one in which a defendant acknowledges that the facts of the case would result in a verdict of guilt, although the defendant is not admitting to those facts, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Ivan Reyes Arzate, 46, of Mexico City, also known as “La Reina,” entered a no contest plea to charges that he obstructed and conspired to obstruct an investigation being carried out by the DEA. Reyes acquired information regarding the U.S. investigation through his position as a commander in the Mexican federal police, which was working with the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago to investigate an international drug trafficking and money laundering organization.



An indictment was returned in July 2017 charging Reyes, and he has been in custody since the announcement of the charges. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve accepted the plea and set the sentencing for August 29, 2018.

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The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

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