Federal authorities say they’ve arrested eight suspected members of a street gang they claim were involved in drug trafficking and human smuggling.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the focus of its investigation in Los Angeles was an alleged drop house for immigrants on their way between their home countries and their destinations in the United States. Agents raided that house in Northeast L.A., where they say the Drew Street clique of the Avenues gang harbored about 200 illegal immigrants a year.
The federal agency says agents arrested two alleged members of the gang there. They picked up six other suspects in Calexico. All eight are named in a federal grand jury indictment.
They’re charged with conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants into this country for financial gain. They allegedly charged up to $4,500 for each person smuggled.
The charges carry maximum penalties of 10 years in federal prison. Two members also charged with re-entering the country after deportation face 20 years behind bars.
Federal prosecutors say a ninth person named in the grand jury indictment is still at large.