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Organized crime behind illegal aliens had cells in 19 cities and 11 US states.

US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neil MacBride, at podium, gestures during a news conference as Director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, John Morton, center, listens in Richmond, Va. , Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. MacBride announced the indictment of 22 individuals involved in a Mexico-based enterprise that allegedly delivered false documents to illegal immigrants in 11 states. The charges include racketeering, money laundering, kidnapping and firearms counts. Photo Credit to AP.

A federal grand jury has indicted over 20 members of an alleged forged documents ring based in Mexico that kidnapped, beat and murdered its competitors, officials said.

The indictment came after an investigation, dubbed “Operation Phalanx,” on the group, which had cells in 19 cities and 11 US states, including three in Virginia, one of the states neighboring the US capital.

“The indictment portrays a deadly criminal organization that uses brutal violence to eliminate rivals, protect its turf and enforce discipline against its own members,” said Neil MacBride, a US attorney in eastern Virginia.

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