LOS ANGELES – More than 120 people linked to street gangs that claim allegiance to the Mexican Mafia have been indicted on various racketeering, weapons and narcotics charges as authorities attempt to cripple the notorious prison gang's Orange County wing.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers fanned out across Southern California on Tuesday, making arrests as part of "Operation Smokin' Aces." A total of 129 people have been indicted by county and federal grand juries alleging crimes including murder, drug trafficking and extortion.
Authorities say the Mexican Mafia sought and received payments from gangs in Orange County in exchange to freely commit crimes in primarily Latino neighborhoods. Those who refused were put on lists that often resulted in violent retribution.