Mark R. Madler
More than 20 people were arrested early Tuesday morning on charges of
conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine as part of an
ongoing investigation into a San Fernando Valley street gang.
Burbank and Glendale police were among the 600 officers who made
the 24 arrests in Reseda, Van Nuys, Winnetka, Porter Ranch and other
cities of the suppliers of drugs to the Vineland Boyz street gang.
Police seized drugs, guns, jewelry, 18 vehicles and $43,000 in
“What we have is narcotics trafficking by this particular cell
that is attached to the same supplier providing the source of
narcotics to the Vineland Boyz,” Los Angeles Police Deputy Michael
Hillmannsaid. “It is not unusual for these groups to exchange guns
between themselves to support their criminal activity.”
As police were investigating the Vineland Boyz, information led
them to Tuesday’s 24 arrests, Drug Enforcement Administration
Associate Special Agent-in-Charge Briane Grey said.
“Our strategy is a success,” Grey said. “Our goal is to take our
resources and identify the violent, drug-trafficking gangs in the
area and bring them to justice.”
The arrests follow by a month the indictment of 43 members of the
Vineland Boyz on charges of racketeering, drug possession and
distribution, possession of firearms, murder, attempted murder and
intimidation of witnesses.
Among those charged last month was David Garcia, 21, who has been
charged with the November 2003 murder of Burbank Police Officer
The investigation also resulted in the July 13 arrest of Burbank
City Councilwoman Stacey Murphy and her boyfriend Scott Schaffer, of
Glendale, who is alleged to have traded handguns for cocaine with
members of the Vineland Boyz.
Murphy, 47, was arrested for possession of cocaine and child
endangerment for allegedly having three handguns in the garage that
were accessible to her 12-year-old son.
Murphy is free on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in
Burbank Superior Court on Aug. 25.
Schaffer, 51, faces federal weapons and drug charges and remains
in federal custody. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court
on July 28.
Police officials said Tuesday they were still looking for seven
Vineland Boyz members indicted in June.
The seven were mid-level distributors who had access to hundreds
of pounds of drugs, Grey said.