Crime & Justice

Los Angeles-area homes seized in fashion district drug-money probe

QT Maternity was closed after federal agents raided the business in connection with a sting operation targeting money laundering by Mexican drug cartels on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.
QT Maternity was closed after federal agents raided the business in connection with a sting operation targeting money laundering by Mexican drug cartels on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

Authorities are moving to seize three Los Angeles-area homes valued at $10 million in a continuing crackdown on a drug money-laundering operation centered in L.A.'s garment district.

U.S. customs agents posted seizure notices Friday on homes in Pasadena and Alhambra. Authorities valued one home — an 8,000-square-foot mansion in Pasadena — at $8 million.

Authorities believe the homes were purchased with money from international drug cartels.

Earlier this week, federal authorities raided dozens of businesses in the garment district of Los Angeles, arrested nine people and seized more than $60 million in cash and $19 million in bank deposits.

Federal authorities also say they've arranged for the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan to freeze $15.6 million in a bank account allegedly tied to the scheme.