FBI Seeks 5 Remaining Members Of Cartel-Like Gang

FBI Says 'Los Palillos' Operated In SD, Targeted Wealthy Residents

The FBI is searching for five members of a cartel-like gang in San Diego, who prosecutors say are responsible for a kidnapping and killing spree across the county.

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Agents said they are trying to track down the remaining members of the Los Palillos gang, which operated in San Diego and targeted wealthy residents.

Authorities say the group was responsible for nine for violent kidnappings and brutal killings across San Diego County. The gang moved into San Diego in 2004.

"It's as if a group of serial killers moved from Tijuana into San Diego and started murdering citizens here," said deputy district attorney Mark Amador.

Surveillance video shows a Los Palillos member casing a wealthy entrepreneur's home in Chula Vista in 2009. Days later, the businessman was kidnapped and held hostage at a neighboring home.

The FBI swat tracked them down, moved in and apprehended six kidnappers from Los Palillos. Several others got away.

10News learned one of those who got away – Jesus Gonzalez Trujillo – was extradited to San Diego two weeks ago. Five are still on the run and arrest warrants have been issued.

"We believe some of these members are down in Mexico but it doesn't preclude them from traveling around Mexico or possibly up here," said FBI special agent Darrell Foxworth.

After the failed kidnapping in Chula Vista, the district attorney's office announced indictments against 17 members of Los Palillos, most of whom were already in custody.

Los Palillos, which means "the toothpicks" in English, would catch their victims off-guard by impersonating police.

"Before the victims realized they were not the actual police they would taze them and beat them, throw them into a van and drive them to the safe houses where they would be held captive for days if not weeks," said Amador.

The fear now is that the five on the loose could still be in the area. The FBI announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading them to the five members who are still at large.

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