The numbers alone are impressive: 1,200 cops from the LA Police to the DEA. 88 suspects. 44 arrests. All before you had your morning coffee.
Those are the numbers being reported by police in the massive 4 a.m. raid against the Avenues street gang, which has preyed on northwest Los Angeles dating back to the 1950s. The arrested face a buffet of racketeering charges, ranging from murder to extortion to drug dealing.
But their most alarming crime came in August of 2008. The gang is accused of orchestrating the drive-by assassination of LA County Deputy Juan Abel Escalante. The father of three was shot multiple times outside his house as he left for work at the county jail.
The Avenues have faced raids before for drug dealing, their links to the Mexican Mafia prison gang, and even a series of hate crimes. But none of those were of the magnitude of today’s massive sweep…