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MS-13 Gang Members Arrested in Food Truck Extortion

20 gang members were arrested after a police raid suspected MS-13 gang members of extorting money from food truck operators. Operation “Protecting The Dream” has been an LAPD task force aimed at protecting blue collar food truck operators from the heavy handed tactics of organized crime.

MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha – 13 gang members have been charging “rent” to food truck operators for at least five years according to ABC news reports in recent days. The Los Angeles Police Department has been investigating complaints that gang members charge fees of between $30 and $100 per month per truck and require free food be supplied to gang members in order to avoid violence and vandalism to truck operators and their families.

According to recent ABC and LA Times reports, about 20 members of the notorious gang were just arrested after a grand jury returned indictments on the members.

As a gang member conducting such an operation, each of the individuals faces multiple strike offenses and has the potential to serve at least 6 years in prison for each count charged against them.

Recently, a grand jury in Ventura County indicted 28 individuals for extorting money throughout Ventura County from alleged drug dealers who were selling drugs in various different gang territories. In that case, police suspect the extortion came from the Mexican Mafia who seeks to payoff a high ranking Mexican official in order to free a Mexican Mafia leader from a Mexican prison.

If you or someone you know has been charged with extortion, faces a special allegation of committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang or any other criminal charge, call me, Jeffrey Vallens, (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340; email me or visit