Organized crime is still alive in Miami, but after a crack down today not so well. Thirteen people throughout South Florida have been arrested and charged with ties to an organized crime syndicate. The arrests were part of a larger crackdown on a group called the Armenian Power gang. 100 people total were charged with crimes in South Florida as well as Denver and Los Angeles.
The thirteen men arrested in Florida were charged with a dizzying array of crimes between them, including but not limited to extortion, firearm smuggling, credit card fraud, money laundering, and health care fraud.
Aram Khranyan, 41, of Sunny Isles Beach, was one of the highest profile arrests in Miami. According to the Department of Justice he "was the 'overseer' of the extortion conspiracies and maintains strong ties to Armenia and Russia."
Officials also claim he entered into a fake marriage with 35-year-old Mira Shatkhin, also of Sunny Isles, in order to obtain American citizenship.
In addition, Andranik Itchmelyan, 48, of Davie, Fla.; Gegam Kalashyan, 41, of Hallandale Beach, Fla.; and Vladimir Okun, 44, of Davie were charged with smuggling firearms.
Vladimir Okun; Andrey Schegolev, 49, of Hollywood, Fla; Harvey Lerfelt, 51 of North Miami Beach, Andranik Itchmelyan, 48; Anahit Karapetyan, 40 of Davie; and Frank Rodriguez, 52, of North Miami Beach, Fla. were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Through two separate clinics they billed private insurance companies for fraudulent procedures.
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