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Baldwin Village drug trafficking gang targeted in raid led by federal, local authorities

May 19, 2011 | 10:14 am

Baldwin Village drug trafficking gang targeted in raid led by federal, local authorities

Map shows recent reported crimes in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood. Click through for more information.The FBI and Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday arrested at least 35 alleged gang members who for decades have controlled drug trafficking around a 1-square-mile area of southwest Los Angeles.

Hundreds of heavily armored LAPD officers and FBI agents carrying more than a dozen federal drug indictments raided locations in the Baldwin Village area, arresting suspected members of the Black P Stones gang.

Those arrested were taken to the L.A. Sports Arena, where dozens of officers massed for predawn raids. The raids were the latest example of the increasingly federal approach to L.A.'s most troubling gangs.

The arrests come at the conclusion of a more than a year of investigation and six years after a similar raid with federal and LAPD officers netted 28 members of the gang's leadership. All of the charges are related to drug offenses.

The Black P Stones have deep roots in a gritty section of low-slung apartment houses between La Brea Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard south of Coliseum Street. Baldwin Village, for generations known as "the Jungle" for its rich assortment of tropical foliage, was the backdrop for portions of the crime film "Training Day."

Baldwin Village has long been an island of heavy gang activity in a larger community of middle-class and upper-middle-class neighborhoods that dot southwest Los Angeles at the foot of Baldwin Hills.

Baldwin Village is less than a mile square, but the LAPD estimates it is home to 700 gang members.

The LAPD and the city attorney's office have been so concerned about crime in Baldwin Village that it was selected as one of five neighborhoods to receive extra officers, who are pursuing small crimes, such as trespassing, in hopes of preventing more serious crimes.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Suspects are handcuffed after a raid on a South L.A. gang. A multi-agency task force that included the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI took part in the operation. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Map: Shows recent reported crimes in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood. Credit: Crime L.A.

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