Orange, Calif. ( Associated Press) — Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced a widespread racketeering case aimed at dismantling the leadership of the Mexican mafia, which controls street gangs in part of Southern California.
The indictments closed in US District Court against three members of the group and 28 associates include charges of two murders, six attempted murders, extortion and drug trafficking in Orange County.
“The Mexican Mafia allegedly victimized vulnerable communities through fear, violence and intimidation,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr.
Of the accused, 21 were already in custody and nine others were arrested in the last two days. One fugitive remained.
The 106-page indictment charged group members with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Affected and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, committing violent crimes to aid in racketeering, conspiracy to traffic drugs, dealing with methamphetamine and heroin, and firearms. accuses.
The Mexican mafia is made up of various street gang leaders and is largely run from inside the prisons and prisons of California. The leaders instructed the allies to collect a “tax” on the proceeds of drugs and hit on enemies or people who violated their rules.
For decades, Peter Ojeda was the head of the Mexican Mafia in Orange County, calling the shots from inside the prison. Prosecutors said that after his death in 2018, at least three people filled the leadership void.
The Mexican Mafia began in a juvenile prison in the 1950s and grew into an international criminal organization that controlled trafficking, drug sales, and extortion within California’s prison system, the largest in the US. .