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Dozens arrested in bust of organized crime groups, sources say

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer
  • NEW: Charges include fraud and kidnapping, a federal law enforcement source says
  • Alleged members of Eastern European organized crime groups are held, sources say

Washington (CNN) -- Federal authorities Wednesday arrested dozens of mostly Armenian alleged members of Eastern European organized crime groups suspected of a range of health care and other fraudulent activities, according to federal law enforcement sources.

The arrests occurred in several locations, including Southern California and South Florida, the sources said. They declined to provide additional details because the indictments remain under seal.

A federal law enforcement source said the charges will cover several different fraud schemes, extortion, and kidnapping.

Justice officials said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer flew to Los Angeles to announce arrests and racketeering indictments at a news conference in Glendale, California, at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. ET).

Joining Breuer will be the head of the Los Angeles FBI field office, Steven Martinez; U.S Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.; and representatives of the Glendale and Burbank police departments, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, Justice officials said.