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Gangs Case

Essay by   •  June 19, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  585 Words (3 Pages)  •  993 Views

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Racketeering is when an organized crime is involved in illegal business. Racketeering is also referred to as the RICO Act which provides extended criminal penalties. There are different forms of racketeering like protection racket: which criminals demand money from businesses for protection, the second one is illegal lottery. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act became a law in October 1970. The RICO act allowed law enforcement to charge a person or group of people with racketeering. There are many gangs that are involved in Racketeering. Who would have thought it would be in a city nearby. (Wikipedia, 2012, P1)

The Gang of Hawaiian Gardens was the largest gang to be involved in Racketeering. Varrio Hawaiian Garden was a Sureño gang that was very loyal to the Mexican Mafia, and the Mafia was very racial towards African-Americans. The gang is known as the "Hate Gang" due to all the hate crimes they have committed. Law enforcement officers arrested dozens of people named in the City of Hawaiian Gardens. The investigation with the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang began after a Los Angeles Sheriff Deputy Jerry Ortiz was shot during an attempt to arrest on suspicion of shooting an African-American man. The gang member Jose Orozco was quickly in custody and is currently sitting on death row. (Valdemar, 2011, p1)

Eighty-eight defendants were arrested on federal and state charges during "Operation Knock Out". Sixty-three of the arrests were pursuant to five federal counts. There are already thirty five defendants in custody, with ninety eight that are awaiting federal court. Forty nine defendants are either fugitives being sought by authorities or individuals who investigators are working to indentify. "Operation Knock Out" led to accusations against 147 gang members making it the largest gang sweep in the United States. "More than 50 members of the Hawaiian Gardens gang are charged with violating the federal RICO statue--the same law that was used to knock out the mafia and which we have used with great success in Southern California in recent years to dismantle other criminal gangs." (Valdemar, 2011, p1)

LASD Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka states, "Jerry Ortiz was an outstanding deputy and a good family man who was murdered by a cowardly Hawaiian Gardens gang member. The primary purpose of Operation Knock Out was to make the community a safer place for all those who had suffered under the oppressive reign of this gang, may Deputy Ortiz rest in peace."

There were other racketeering counts discussed other violent attacks like drug trafficking, carjacking, and kidnappings. Long time member George Manuel Flores of the Hawaiian Gardens gang was the lead defendant in the RICO counts, ordered murder of another gang member who was cooperating with law enforcement. Flores gave a young gang member with a weapon and advised him to shoot African-Americans who



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