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Five arrested in L.A. in illegal gun sales, drug trafficking probe

December 1, 2010 |  4:27 pm

Federal agents and Los Angeles police arrested five suspects Wednesday as part of an investigation into illegal firearms sales and drug trafficking.

The five people taken into custody were named by a federal grand jury in a 19-charge indictment alleging that members of the group sold machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and assault rifles to undercover officers from April 2009 to June 2010, authorities  said.

The investigation was led by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department.

John A. Torres, special agent in charge of the bureau's Los Angeles office, said the operation was a warning to others involved in similar crimes.

"We will not tolerate this sort of firepower on our streets of Los Angeles," Torres told The Times. "Gun traffickers take notice. We will investigate and prosecute you."

Authorities seized 5 pounds of marijuana and 12 weapons, including a a machine gun and handguns.

In all, the indictment names nine people, at least two of whom who are in the country illegally, authorities said. The suspects are from Los Angeles, Montebello, La Puente, Paramount and Lakewood. Some are already in custody on other charges and one is still being sought by authorities.


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