WOODLAND HILLS—On August 18, the United States Department of Justice announced the arrest of 28 members of the Eastside Playboys gang, who have a connection to the Mexican Mafia. At least 10 other gang-related suspects are still at large.
According to a press release from the DOJ, the Eastside Playboys were established in 1975, and active in Southern Los Angeles and the Woodland Hills area, where they murder and kill off their weakest or least compliant members.
The arrests come after investigation referred to as, “Down the rabbit hole” that was led by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs which included both the FBI and LAPD.
Reports indicate that the Playboys gang was targeted due to their allegiance to a member of the Mexican Mafia and his daughter.
The investigation resulted in six grand jury indictments, one of which includes allegations of narcotics, weapons trafficking, as well as extortion of local businesses.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; DEA U.S. Marshals Service, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; U.S. Bureau of Prisons; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; and the Los Angeles County Probation Department provided assistance.
During the investigation, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs seized 47 firearms, 199 kilograms of methamphetamine, 13.6 kilograms of fentanyl, 27 kilograms of cocaine, 7.6 kilograms of heroin, 283 kilograms of marijuana, and $140,000 in cash was seized from the gang and their associates.
The indictment alleges members of the gang are an enterprise, according to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, where they operate marijuana dispensaries.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated:
“This case is the culmination of years of work by our agents and the prosecutors alongside our local law enforcement partners, to remove violent gang members from our streets and dismantle the criminal organizations that fuel violent crime.”
FBI Director, Christopher Wray said:
“The Justice Department has no tolerance of for violent gangs that sow fear and terror in our communities, and we will continue to use every tool we have to stop them and bring them to Justice. One of our fundamental duties at the FBI is to protect the American people. The law enforcement operations in the Los Angeles area today reflect only a portion of the work being done across the country and illustrate the FBI’s dedication to reducing violent crimes in our nation, and combating the threats gangs, violent actors, and criminal enterprises pose to our communities. I am proud of the work being done by the FBI, in the concert with our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners, to keep our citizens and communities safe.”