SoCal gang accused in sham marriage scam

September 22, 2010 2:00:32 PM PDT
Authorities have arrested 18 people in a probe into a Southern California street gang accused of drug trafficking and arranging fake marriages to obtain green cards for immigrants.

The U.S. attorney's office on Wednesday unveiled a federal indictment saying some members of the Red Door gang orchestrated a scheme where foreigners paid tens of thousands of dollars to marry American women to gain permanent resident status.

The indictment names three such marriages but U.S. attorney spokesmen Thom Mrozek says prosecutors think there could be hundreds of others.

Prosecutors say authorities seized more than 12,500 ecstasy pills and 2,200 marijuana plants during the probe.

All but two of the indictment's 20 defendants were arrested Wednesday.