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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)

I am Armenian and have been in Glendale for the last 25 years....very heavily involved in all different parts of the Armenian American community....haven't heard or seen of AP as having any relevancy or any connection to anything here as widespread as this article portrays.

I am a 35 year resident of glendale and it used to be a heavily gang infested area untill these so called criminal's moved in and started buying up all the property in the area and getting rid of the gangs problem in glendale i saw this city bloom into an area with bussiness and clean and beautyful homes, i saw hardly anything bad by these people except contribution's to the city and a boost in the economy, i am happy that i have armenians living in glendale than oppose to other ethnic backrounds, ohhh and i forgot the biggest thing my daughter was actually saved by an assault by 2 black men in glendale by and armenian man driving by with his family and actually stopping and fighting these guys off untill the cops arrived,so seriously stop the rude comments about these people as a whole, we as 'whites' have more rapist's and child molestor's in jail today than we have armenians living in america, so yea i would rather have a goverment cheating armenian living next to me (which i don't) than a serial rapist . by the way glendale has still one of the highest property values in ca during this recession. from george glendale resident and iraq war veteran

I am Armenian myself and I am truely ashamed to be an Armenian..That's SOOOOOO EMBARRASSING!!!!They honestly give us a bad name, specially since most of us have lived, worked, gotten educated and made a decent life for ourselves!!!!

It is do sad to see so many racists in here.

To all the racists out there talking about deporting all "non-natives," can you please explain what the heck makes you so "native"??? All these comments show is ignorance and stupidity. America was built on immigration, so unless you were Native American, you are not native. Oh wait, your ancestors who immigrated from England in the 1700s killed off almost all of the Native Americans, so chances are, you're not native! Thus, if we deport all non-natives, then pretty much 90% of the people in this country should be deported. Being "white" does not equal being native. Secondly, it is ignorant and hateful to generalize an entire race of people based on what a select few have done. If we were to do this, then I should think that all Germans are Jew hating Nazis, all Muslims are terrorists, and so on and so forth. I was born and raise in Armenia and have worked extremely hard to be successful. I have worked tirelessly since I was 18 and have paid my fair share of taxes, as have my parents. I am graduating law school in a few months and will be paying an even higher tax figure. My mother drives a Mercedes not because she does fraud, but because she cleaned people's crap at 5am every weekend in nursing school. So please don't spread messages of hate.

The LA Times article mentioned the Mexican Mafia was involved with AP. How come done of them were taken down too? IS it easy to go after AP (the only Armenian gang) and NOT the Mexican Mafia? Is it too afraid to go after them?
The Mexican Mafia controls all the hispanic gangs. WHo is the threat AP or the Mexican Mafia?
No one mentioned the 120 Italian mobsters who were taken down last month on the LA Times blog? How come?
Armenians only have one gang, but other ethnicities have thousands. How come they aren't being targeted? They do drive by shootings? When the last time you heard about AP doing drive by shootings? Why isn't the governemt going after the real problem?
Glendale has been rated as one of the safest cities in America. Property values are higher than LA, median property values in CA, and the US. If the Armenians were so "bad" would the property values be higher than LA?
In conclusion, it is good they got these criminals, but the government really needs to go the thousands of gangs who make America a dangerous place!

stop acting so amazed armenians dont do anything the jews didnt do and get away with first come on a couple of armenian dumb dumbs stealing a couple million what about maddoff and all them stealing billions go get a life before you label any ethnic group as being criminals just because theyre considered to be minorities

I am Armenian, and proud of it too. I'm glad to know that the governament is actually catching up with the crooks, it's about time, even if it involves Armenians. I just hope that just because of this LOOSERS, people don't start looking at all Armenians as crooks. I came to US in 1997 as a legal resident with green card from day one, since then my family and I have paid our taxes, worked our way up in life even without any help from others. I understand people want to come to US for a better life, but their better life can't cause us hardship and crises. No matter what race you are you need to earn you're way in life. Nothing comes easy, and if it does it's eventualy going to catch up to you later in life. People enjoy life and try to live as Fair as you can and trust me it feels good to know you've earned what you have, and no one can take that feeling away from you.

@Armenian community, Your going to get a taste of stereotyping, Everyone does, Muslims, jews, hispanics, asians, blacks, etc. etc. etc. Its a part of the American experience. Whites are even subjected to it, sad no one wants to admit that, but its the truth.

One day someone with the guts will call a conference with a civil member of every demographic in America and discuss the issues that impact everyone, because division is not going to solve anything, every demographic will feel cheated, neglected, misrepresented, and so on. It is my belief that when the dust of all the finger pointing settles, more commonality will be found then differences.

Its unfortunate that you will have some that will talk you down, because that is the only way they can make themselves feel good about themselves.

Celebrate the liberation, no one should be victimized in their own communities, especially by members of that particular demographic. accepting it is foolishness.

I stand with you.

Before all of you make remarks about the Armenians, please remember the most famous of us: Gov. George Deukmejian (CA), Cher, Mike Connors (actor), Jack Kevorkian, Kirk Krikorian, just to name a few. And those of you who make comments like "Deport them", where do you come from. We are a country of immigrants: remember the Irish gangs, the Italian mobs, or the English, or the Black and Mexican, or the Salvadorean, do you still wish more. There are good and bad in all groups of immigrants. There are those who work hard and study hard to make themselves and their community sparkle, and there are those who become victims of society. A lot of these are victims of American ethics, that hollywood preaches. And a lot of them just united so that they could protect themselves from the local Mexican and Vietnamese or Thai gangs, and/or even the rednecks. Before any of you make racist comments, have the prudence to study. What was Glendale 30 yrs ago? Dusty place with no life and no culture. Go see what Armenians have done to it, it is a beautiful, vibrant place. Thank you Armenians. And may God bless USA.

Racial profiling is what's ruining this country no a stupid scam like this. We have elected officials who take more money through bribes( donations) than all this criminals can take in a lifetime. We have people like Madoff who take billions, that doesn't make the jews bad. I'm in my twentis and drive a car that costs more than peoples houses, but I pay more taxes than people earn in a few years. I provide jobs that support more than 50 families. So to say young Armenians who drive fancy cars are criminals is just ignorant. One love

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Deleted comments:

jaytee | February 16, 2011 at 10:02 AM
Joe | February 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM
Joe | February 16, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Ray | February 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM
James Andrews | February 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM
ratbag | February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Eadred | February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM
housewife In Burbank | February 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM
sam | February 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Athena Says | February 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Chris | February 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM
mike Hughes | February 16, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Steve | February 16, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Craig Raines | February 16, 2011 at 01:12 PM
roni | February 16, 2011 at 01:29 PM
STOP JUDGING PEOPLE | February 16, 2011 at 01:33 PM
MJ | February 16, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Eadred | February 16, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Molly | February 16, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Artpolo5 | February 16, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Give it a rest idiots | February 16, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Quixote | February 16, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Hovanes | February 16, 2011 at 02:35 PM
A B | February 16, 2011 at 02:52 PM
john | February 16, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Jack | February 16, 2011 at 02:59 PM
driko | February 16, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Der | February 16, 2011 at 03:14 PM
spango | February 16, 2011 at 03:23 PM
James | February 16, 2011 at 03:41 PM
pickford | February 16, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Lola | February 16, 2011 at 05:02 PM
One Pissed Armenian | February 16, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Glendale Native | February 16, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Jimmy | February 16, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Sam | February 16, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Ohannes | February 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM
eddie | February 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM
eddie | February 17, 2011 at 01:03 PM
LINDA | February 17, 2011 at 06:43 PM
GOV JESSE VENTURA | February 18, 2011 at 08:00 AM

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