The indictments were the result of the Santa Ana Gang Task Force's Operation Smokin' Aces, which ferreted out street gangs tied to the Mexican Mafia and a related prison gang, a news release from the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
As part of the operation, law authorities made undercover purchases of 38 handguns and 29 rifles, and seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.5 pounds of heroin and three pounds of cocaine, the release said.
The indictments charged the 129 defendants with a variety of crimes, including murder, assault, extortion, "tax" collection and street-level distribution of narcotics.
The Santa Ana Gang Task Force was comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, the Santa Ana Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, ATF, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, IRS, as well as officers from a variety of area municipal police departments.
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