Federal and local law enforcement officers in Los Angeles arrested more than 80 alleged members and associates of a gang in relation to firearms and drug trafficking charges, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Authorities say the people arrested on Thursday were involved with the Rancho San Pedro gang.

The Rancho San Pedro gang originated back in the 1970s. Its membership includes 600 documented members, as well as more than 400 associates.

"This operation has dealt a major blow to one of the largest, most dangerous and longest-standing street gangs in the San Pedro area," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles. "Today, we are taking back our streets and making it clear that the scourge of fear and crime fostered by this gang is coming to an end."

The arrests resulted after nearly a three-year investigation and involved more than 1,300 federal and law enforcement officers, according to the DHS announcement.

John A. Torres, special agent in charge, ATF Los Angeles Field Division, said: "The firearms purchased include short-barreled shotguns, machine guns and assault-style weapons, many of which are suspected to be linked to Rancho San Pedro gang activities."

Follow Elizabeth Llorente on Twitter: @LlorenteLatino


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