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Authorities Say Mexican Murder Crew in San Diego Dismantled

Above: San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, flanked by FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Keith Slotter and San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore, announces charges against a cross-border kidnapping and murder organization.

Jorge Rojas Lopez leads the “Los Palillos” kidnap and murder gang. Authorities say he moved the crew to San Diego after Arellano Felix Drug Cartel members killed his brother, Victor Rojas Lopez, in Tijuana. Victor allegedly ran an Arellano Felix cell and died in an internal cartel battle.
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Above: Jorge Rojas Lopez leads the “Los Palillos” kidnap and murder gang. Authorities say he moved the crew to San Diego after Arellano Felix Drug Cartel members killed his brother, Victor Rojas Lopez, in Tijuana. Victor allegedly ran an Arellano Felix cell and died in an internal cartel battle.

— San Diego law enforcement authorities say they've dismantled a Mexican drug trafficking ring that operated in San Diego and killed nine people. The indictment was announced Thursday.

The indictment charges 17 people with torturing and killing nine men in San Diego County between 2004 and 2007. The attempted murder of a Chula Vista policeman is also included.

Prosecutors say the crew would lure their victims to rented homes. In some cases, the gang allegedly impersonated police. Prosecutors say the gang dissolved two of their victims in acid.

Mark Amador is an Assistant District Attorney. He says the motives were money and revenge against Tijuana's Arellano-Felix drug cartel (AFO). "Some of these cases were robberies of people who might have money on hand or drugs on hand. Some of the victims were targeted because they thought they could be held for ransom. Not all of the victims in this case were involved in drugs. The other motive: the leader had a deep animosity for the AFO."

Eight of the alleged killers remain at large. Authorities say three others were killed recently in Tijuana.

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