LOS ANGELES -- Fifty people were arrested Tuesday in a crackdown on a South Los Angeles gang whose members allegedly committed murders and robberies, and peddled drugs over two decades.

More than 1,300 FBI agents and police officers took part in the action against people with ties to the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips, federal prosecutors said.

According to an indictment that names 72 people, gang members killed four people between 1987 and 2012, opened fire at California Highway Patrol officers, and trafficked drugs ranging from marijuana to methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

The Broadway Crips used violence and fear to secure power and conspired to kill a gang member who cooperated with a murder investigation, prosecutors alleged.

The indictment also charged gang members with selling drugs near schools, playgrounds and Los Angeles' Skid Row, which has a sizable homeless population.

"What makes the conduct of this gang particularly insidious is not only the violent crimes alleged, but also the exploitation of Skid Row drug users who are already living in difficult circumstances," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement.

Of the 72 named in the indictment, 48 were arrested and 17 others were already in custody on unrelated charges. Two others were arrested Tuesday on separate charges. Authorities said they were investigating the whereabouts of eight others named in the indictment.

If convicted, all 72 indicted each face a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.


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The Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI partnered to investigate the Broadway Crips as part of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force program. The investigation, which also involved other state and local law enforcement agencies, was code-named Operation Gremlin Riderz after a sub-clique in the gang known as the Gremlin Riderz.