20 members of Riverside gang charged in federal court

RIVERSIDE — Authorities arrested six Riverside gang members named in a federal complaint alleging they trafficked in methamphetamine, committed hate crimes and had ties to the Mexican Mafia, authorities said.

The six suspects join 14 other defendants charged in a federal case that was unsealed this morning in United States District Court. Nine of the defendants charged in the federal cases are already in state custody, while five of the defendants are currently at large.

The federal criminal cases targets the Eastside Riva (ESR) gang, a decades-old street gang with about 500 members that claim the east side of the City of Riverside as their territory, the U.S. District Attorneys office reported.

Two of the federal complaints charge single defendants – one with drug trafficking, one with being a felon in possession of a firearm – while the third complaint charges 18 defendants, investigators said.

The investigation into ESR was started in November 2008 and conducted by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigators with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office and the Riverside Police Department, and special agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Federal law enforcement authorities have partnered with local enforcement to take gang members off the streets of communities across Southern California,” said Acting United States Attorney George S. Cardona. “As this action targeting Eastside Riva demonstrates, we will continue to work with local authorities to go after the worst street gangs that traffic in narcotics and terrorize neighborhoods with their violence.”

Those named in the main criminal complaint are: