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Nearly 100 charged, dozens arrested in operation targeting Armenian organized crime [Updated]

Dozens of people were arrested Wednesday morning in a massive operation by federal and local law enforcement authorities targeting Armenian organized crime, particularly members of the powerful street gang Armenian Power.

Operation Power Outage involved nearly 1,000 officers and concentrated primarily on suspects who reside in heavily Armenian neighborhoods in Glendale and East Hollywood, but authorities said arrests and indictments also were made in other parts of the country.

Citing the ongoing operation, officials did not immediately release specifics but said nearly 100 individuals had been charged in federal and state court in indictments alleging racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, drug-related offenses and white-collar fraud.

Participating law enforcement agencies included the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Secret Service, Immigration Customs Enforcement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles police departments. [Updated at 10:14 a.m.: The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General also participated.]

The bulk of the arrests and search warrants had been served without any major incidents. But officials stressed they continued to search for some of the suspects.

Armenian Power -- AP for short -- is a small but virulent gang that took root among Armenian immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, authorities said. They are concentrated in Glendale and East Hollywood.

Law enforcement officials described Armenian Power as having an "extensive portfolio" that combined ruthlessness with opportunism, focusing on white-collar crime that included identity theft crimes such as credit-card skimming. 


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: An Armenian Power member shows tatoos on his back in a 1997 photo. Credit: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (62)

Reading this just made my day.

geez. about time...

They've branched out into Pasadena & Altadena as well.

Does this mean it's ok to open up a bar now without getting harrassed?

The biggest crook in Glendale is Councilman John Drayman. He's stolen millions from taxpayers. When is he getting indicted???

It's not going to be to long from now when any Armenian is going to be suspected of as belonging to their Mafia. The same as what happened to Itialians, especially Sicilians.

Perhaps the alluring and relatively inexpensive leasing options are a reason.


About time!

The Armenians were responsible for a huge welfare scam - they located Armenians in the Glendale welfare office and took the State for millions of dollars.

The Republican Party's budget manifesto calls for severe cuts to the budget of all the actors involved: the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, and, indirectly, by cuts to the States coffers, to the County public safety agencies executing the raid. Guess the tax cut to the top 2% income earners enables the Republican party's natural constituency to bulk up on private security (or completely relocate to the Bahamas), so less need for this kind of thing. For the rest of the U.S. folks, you get what you voted in.

Greatest day of my life!

Hope the LAPD came to Valley Glen/North Hollywood!

Anyone whose lived in or near Glendale/Little Armenia is dancing right now.

Now if we could just DEPORT the non native criminals back to the country from which they came maybe we'd see a drop in crime, organized or otherwise. And yes, this should include Russians, Israelis, Armenians, Mexican, and any one else that arrived on these shores seeking a "better life" and then lives off the tax payers through criminal activity or government assistance scams.

Never forget.

I am so glad I don't live in Glendale anymore.

How AP even made the papers/news is beyond me! They have not been a legit gang since the 90's. I remember growing up in Atwater when gang violence was a common occurance and AP were always the little kid getting picked on. Just news to fill space in the paper.

I'm an American born here in the US and of Armenian descent. I too am happy that justice was served. However, no one should stereotype or generalize all Armenians as being as crooked or corrupt as the ones mentioned in this article. There are many, many, many hard working Armenian families that came to this country 30 and 40 years ago and are hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. This happens in every ethnic group... you have the good and the real bad. But this is a huge relief... maybe now other Armos (or others) who think they can cheat the system, won't be as likely to do it because they will eventually get caught.

I live in Glendale, I am an Armenian. This was such a relieving story! Although this gang is an Armenian gang, they do not associate with Armenian's out of their gang. They treat any one outside of their gang as complete threats. I am so happy these PATHETIC PUNKS finally got what was coming to them.

I am Armenian myself and I find this SO EMBARRASSING! Enough is enough! Go do something productive with your lives!! I'm so sick and tired of hearing about all these frauds. It's ridiculous already. I hope they all get caught, soon.


wow everyone below talking bad about Armenians you guys sound like a bunch of jealous racists. This is 100 out of 300,000 armenians living in LA.. get a life people and stop stereotyping the whole community. My parents ran a bakery in Hollywood for 30 years and yes they drive a mercedes and NO they didnt do credit card fraud.

To all the law abiding Americans of Armenian descent . Now you know how it feels as a law abiding Americans of Mexican or African descent feels!

It's good to hear the honest, hard working Arminians comment, another reason not to sterotype ethnic groups.

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