Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

February 8, 2012

Contact: Special Agent Christian Hoffman, PIO

Office: (818) 265-2507

Cell: (213) 216-3622

Gang Member Sentenced for His Involvement in an ATF Undercover Sting

LOS ANGELES — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced that George R. Lopez of Lawndale was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and three years supervised release by United States District Court Judge George King, for a firearm related offense in which he was arrested for the conclusion of an ATF undercover operation in 2010.

According to court documents, Lopez, a documented Venice 13 gang member, provided a firearm to co–defendant Cesar P. Rios, a previously convicted felon and also a documented Venice 13 gang member. RIOS was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and 36 months supervised release in August 2011.

ATF and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Pacific Division, initiated an investigation targeting Venice/Culver City–area criminal street gangs known by investigators to engage in firearms–related offenses and narcotics trafficking. ATF conducted undercover operations in the Venice area of Los Angeles, known, according to law enforcement, to be controlled primarily by Venice 13 (also known as Venice Trece) criminal street gang members. The four–month investigation led to the arrest of 19 individuals who were involved an array of criminal acts to include; selling illegal narcotics and committing numerous firearms violations.

The investigation was led the by ATF and LAPD. The following agencies provided support during the investigation: Drug Enforcement Administration – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Group 52; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Special Services Unit; Los Angeles County Probation Department; and the Inglewood Police Department.

Federal charges are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

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