Authorities Announce Gang-related Arrests and Federal Weapon Charges – NBC Los Angeles

Law enforcement officials for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with local authorities from Los Angeles and Orange Counties, announced several gang arrests and federal gun charges in those counties.

A press conference was held in front of the FBI Resident Agency building in Orange on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Representatives from the Los Angeles County and Orange County’s Violent Crime Task Forces and Gangs discussed a recent investigation into the arrests.

In one case, sixteen people were charged Wednesday morning linked to the Brownwood street gang, which operates primarily in Anaheim. The fees include:

  • Serious criminal in possession of ammunition
  • Possessing a firearm to encourage drug trafficking
  • Possession of unregistered firearms and a destructive device
  • Possession of firearms without a serial number
  • Transport of unregistered firearms and a destructive device in international trade

Ten of these people were arrested, according to the FBI.

Three of these people were in custody before Wednesday morning, the other three are refugees.


From left to right, Jonathan Castaneda, Cassandra Camacho and Cristobal Flores are three refugees wanted by the FBI for illegal drug and arms trafficking.

Anaheim Police Department began investigations into the case in July 2019 when the gang was “involved in the illegal sale of firearms and drugs in Orange County,” the FBI said.

Individuals in the gang would travel from Texas to California to trade guns for narcotics, the FBI said, while others would illegally sell those guns and narcotics in SoCal.

A confidential source made multiple purchases of narcotics and firearms from several of the defendants between July 2019 and August 2020. Over the course of 25 separate operations, “the confidential source bought approximately 759 grams of methamphetamine and 23 firearms,” ​​the FBI said.

Other items seized by agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration include six rifles and pistols, “telescopic sights, AR15 top receivers, an suppressor and a pipe bomb,” the FBI said. Another source allowed authorities to seize “drugs, cash and a Sig Sauer pistol” while the operation resulted in the seizure of seven other weapons on Wednesday.


Guns and ammunition seized in an operation between the FBI and Southern California law enforcement agencies.

In another, separate case, seven people were charged with being associated with the Pico Nuevo 13 street gang. According to the FBI, the gang deals in drugs and weapons.

Two of these people were arrested on Wednesday, three were already in custody and two more are refugees, the FBI said. The fees include:

  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Serious criminal in possession of ammunition
  • Serious criminals in possession of firearms and ammunition
  • Possessing a firearm to encourage drug trafficking
  • Owned with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl

“PN13 is based in Pico Rivera, California, but has tentacles all over North Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley,” said the FBI.

The PN13 investigation resulted in the seizure of 22 weapons.

A plethora of other violent crime investigations between multiple law enforcement agencies over the past six months have resulted in the seizure of 180 weapons, the FBI said.

Of these nearly 200 weapons, 37 were “ghost rifles,” weapons that were privately manufactured and without commercial serial numbers. Possession, purchase, and sale of ghost weapons are illegal in the city of Los Angeles.

They were arrested in an investigation that followed another violent crime investigation involving “narcotics violations, organized criminal groups and fleeting arrests,” according to the FBI.

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