Florencia 13 Gang Member Arrested on Rico Charges

Apr 24, 2009, 17:57 ET from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

LOS ANGELES, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), today 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 ATF, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 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.

"We are pleased with the outcome of this case; today's arrest furthers the successes that we have already achieved," said John A. Torres, special agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Los Angeles Field Division.

"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 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.

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.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.

    Contact:  Special Agent Michael Hoffman, PIO
    Office:   (818) 265-2507
    Cell:     (213) 925-4547

SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives