SAN DIEGO–Twenty-two people, including suspected drug traffickers and associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, are charged in numerous indictments and complaints unsealed Wednesday with crimes ranging from racketeering conspiracy to heroin and methamphetamine dealing.

The indictments are the result of Operation Corridor, a continuing investigation involving a team of federal, state, and local agencies focusing on the activities of the Mexican Mafia operating in the Southern District of California. So far, the investigation has resulted in the charging of 68 people since April 2012.

In all, five indictments and three complaints were unsealed. The main indictment charges 11 people with participating in a racketeering conspiracy that involved the commission of both state and federal crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder, assault with a deadly weapon, extortion, money laundering, and drug trafficking violations. The indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury in San Diego on December 19, 2013. As of Wednesday, 18 of the 22 defendants are either in federal or state custody. Six were arrested Wednesday and Tuesday; the rest were already in custody.

As set forth in the indictments, most of the defendants are associates of the Mexican Mafia operating primarily in Oceanside and Vista, and multiple San Diego Sheriff’s Office Detention Facilities and California State Prisons, including Donovan, Centinela, and Ironwood.

Using electronic surveillance, intercepted phone lines, and other sophisticated tools, this continuing investigation targeted a broad criminal conspiracy to extort money and control the illegal narcotics trade in both north San Diego County and various California State Prisons. The investigation is ongoing.

“We will continue to target gangs operating on the streets of our communities in conjunction with associates operating in jails and prisons,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “Their criminal behavior will not be tolerated. Along with our state and local partners, we will continue to tirelessly pursue them at every level. I commend the efforts of all involved and appreciate their hard work and commitment to bringing these criminals to justice.”

United States Attorney Duffy praised the North County Regional Gang Task Force (NCRGTF) for the coordinated team effort in the culmination of this investigation. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; San Diego County Sheriff’s Office; Oceanside Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; Bureau of Prisons; Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Marshals Service; California Highway Patrol; and the Escondido and Carlsbad Police Departments collaborated on this investigation.

The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations.

“The collaboration between federal and local law enforcement in San Diego is unparalleled, and Operation Corridor is a fine example of utilizing our strategic law enforcement partnerships to combat an increasingly dangerous fusion of violent gangs and organized crime,” said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. “With dozens of violent street gang members and associates off the streets, we have delivered on our commitment to public safety so that the law abiding people living and working in our neighborhoods are safe.”