27 Members Of 'Asian Pride' Gang Indicted

Police Say Men Distributed Ecstasy

The U.S. Justice Department and the Metro Gang Task Force said they've arrested 23 people suspected of distributing Ecstasy in the Denver area.

A federal grand jury handed down a 109-count indictment against 27 people who were believed members of the "Asian Pride" gang.

The FBI and officers from various agencies arrested 23 alleged members or associates of Asian Pride Wednesday morning. The arrests were made across the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs and Sacramento, California, said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid on Wednesday

Eid said it appeared the drugs came from California and more than 10,000 Ecstasy tablets were seized, along with weapons and cash.

More than a dozen gang members were also arrested in San Francisco Wednesday on similar charges, but authorities in Denver would not confirm if the cases are linked.

The arrests follow a 2½ year multi-jurisdictional investigation sparked by the April 15, 2006, slayings of Christopher Le, 22, and Quoc Phan, 27, in Aurora. Those slayings remain unsolved, but police continue to learn more about the crime, said Daniel Oates, Aurora Police Chief.

“Coloradans can take pride in Asian Pride’s demise,” Eid said in a statement to members of the media. “Thanks to the Metro Gang Task Force, we’re one step closer to freeing our community of MDMA -- so called ‘Ecstasy.’”

Eid noted that suppliers increasingly mix MDMA with methamphetamine to stretch supplies and boost their profit margins.

Law enforcement officials say the drug is increasingly marketed to younger adults.

"We allege that their market distribution was about 10,000 pills a week in the Denver metro area, their work was to prey on our youngest and most vulnerable," Chief Oates said.

Those arrested face several charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possess the drug. Defendants faced up to 40 years in prison and heavy fines if convicted.

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