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13 arrested on federal drug and weapons charges in latest crackdown on street gangs in Inglewood

13 arrested on federal drug and weapons charges in latest crackdown on street gangs in Inglewood
Inglewood police Chief Mark Fronterotta, from left, Mayor James Butts and the FBI's Paul Delacourt announce federal charges against members of the Inglewood Family gang Wednesday at Inglewood police headquarters. (Alejandra Reyes-Velarde)

Thirteen members of the Inglewood Family street gang are facing federal charges related to firearms and narcotics trafficking, authorities said Wednesday.

Inglewood police and the FBI teamed up for the yearlong investigation into the activities of the group, which federal authorities say evolved from a street gang into an organized national criminal enterprise with ties to 10 other states.

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The probe came to head Monday when agents made their first arrest in the case. Seven members were arrested Tuesday and the rest have been in custody since last year. They are facing charges including drug distribution, dealing firearms without a license and aiding and abetting, according to grand jury indictments.

“Our objective is to eliminate criminal gang activity in the city of Inglewood,” Mayor James Butts told reporters Wednesday at the Inglewood police headquarters. “We are putting every criminal gang member on notice that these operations will continue until every one of you is either incarcerated or leaves the city of Inglewood.”

Authorities say the gang used ties in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to traffic firearms, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and other narcotics.

As part of the investigation, members of the FBI’s task force on violent gangs executed undercover purchases of firearms, cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine from the group, authorities said.

The probe marks the latest crackdown on criminal street gangs in Inglewood. In August, Inglewood police and the FBI arrested 10 leaders of the Legends Crips gang suspected of firearms possession, along with manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine.

Butts, who is seeking reelection next month, rebuffed notions during the news conference Wednesday that the construction of a new NFL stadium in Inglewood was a catalyst for the city’s recent hard line on gang activity.

“This is just a continuation of our efforts,” he said, noting city’s crime rate has fallen in recent years.

The defendants are Byron Sumlin, 45, of Los Angeles; Terrence Hale, 51, of Gardena; Ralph Adrian Williams, 33, of Long Beach; Hafoka Netane, 33, of Hawthorne; Justin Jackson, 23, of Gardena; Charles Armstead, 37, of San Bernardino; and Ronald Anthony Miller, 29, Agyei Hasani Covington, 39, Victoria Sanders, 50, Eddie Lee Jackson, 54, Derick Butler, 31, Jason Inge, 31, and Chad Jones, 28, all of Inglewood.

They face a maximum sentence ranging from 10 years to life in federal prison, according to the United States attorney’s office.

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