News Release
April 24, 2009
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Phone Number: 213-621-6827

Florencia 13 Gang Member Arrested on Rico Charges

APR 24 -- (LOS ANGELES) – On April 24, 2009, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres announced the arrest of Armando Ramirez, 32, of Los Angeles. Ramirez, a Florencia 13 (F-13) gang member is accused in an indictment that charges violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced Corruption Organization Act (RICO).

Law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Southern California Drug Task Force (SCDTF), comprising agents and officers with DEA, ATF, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant at Ramirez’s residence and arrested him without incident. Agents and officers recovered several items of evidence linking Ramirez to gang activity during a search of the house.

“Today’s arrest exemplifies the partnership between local, state and federal agencies in combating violent gang activity within out communities”, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum.

The indictment is the result of Operation Joker’s Wild, a three-year investigation into F-13 conducted by the HIDTA/SCDTF Task Force. In addition to the RICO and RICO conspiracy charges, the seven count indictment charges Ramirez and two others with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) and Felon in Possession of Ammunition. The VICAR charges relate to the defendants alleged involvement in the kidnapping and sexual assault of two juveniles.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case; today’s arrest furthers the successes that we have already achieved,” said John A. Torres, ATF Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Field Division.

In the fall of 2007, 102 members and associates of F-13 were charged in federal indictments as part of Operation Joker’s Wild. More than 76 of those defendants have been convicted, either at trial or as a result of guilty pleas. Those indictments represented one of the largest gang takedowns in American history.

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