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Food trucks serving more than just food - Los Angeles

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Apparently, food trucks in Los Angeles have been serving more than food to some customers. To some, they have been serving money. The LAPD says they have arrested at least 20 members of the notorious MS-13 street gang who have been extorting vendors for money.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least 20 gangsters have been arrested and charged with extorting money from food truck vendors in the Hollywood area. Their extortion has been going on for at least five years according to a records from the state grand jury.

There are 20 defendants, including four women and they are being held on bail ranging from $2 to $3 million each.

There are five others who remain under indictment, but their records have not been unsealed.

According to the records, the defendants would target smaller truck operators, typically those serving blue-collar workers. A yearlong investigation uncovered both weapons and drugs.

Gang members supposedly charged "rent" from vendors who sold food in territories claimed by the gang, and they were also forced to provide free food to gang members. The weekly rent was typically between $30 and $50.

If vendors refused to pay, they were threatened with violence including death.

MS-13 is reputed to be a particularly violent gang with ties to notorious drug cartels in Latin America. The gang is spreading across the United States, and has conducted operations as far away as the Eastern Seaboard.

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