20 ac­cused of green card scam

Los Angeles Times - - California - — An­drew Blankstein

Twenty peo­ple were in­dicted by fed­eral au­thor­i­ties over a scheme in which for­eign­ers used sham mar­riages to ob­tain green cards to fur­ther a drug-deal­ing op­er­a­tion, of­fi­cials said.

The 19-count grand jury in­dict­ment un­sealed Wed­nes­day al­leges crimes re­lated to dis­tri­bu­tion of Ec­stasy, mar­i­juana cul­ti­va­tion and a scam in which for­eign na­tion­als paid tens of thou­sands of dol­lars to marry Amer­i­can women and ob­tain per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­dency.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion tar­geted mem­bers and as­so­ci­ates of a San Gabriel Val­ley-based gang called the Red Door, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice. About 18 mem­bers of the gang were ar­rested Wed­nes­day, and agents are search­ing for two oth­ers.

Dur­ing the two-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion, au­thor­i­ties seized seven firearms, more than 12,500 Ec­stasy pills, 2,230 mar­i­juana plants and a Lamborghini.

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