Extensive judicial process in order to dismantle the Mexican Mafia
US federal authorities on Wednesday announced a sweeping legal process aimed at dismantling the Mexican Mafia, a criminal organization that controls street gangs in Southern California.
According to the file revealed in the federal district court, three members and 28 associates of the group were prosecuted in connection with two murders, six attempted murders, extortion and drug trafficking in Orange County.
“The Mexican Mafia stands accused of preying on vulnerable communities through terror, violence and intimidation,” said Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr.
Twenty-one of the defendants were already in custody and another nine were arrested in the last two days. One is still on the run.
The 106-page file accuses members of the group of violating a federal law against extortion by the mafia and other criminal organizations, committing violent acts to facilitate drug trafficking, methamphetamine and heroin trafficking, and illegal possession of weapons.
The Mexican Mafia is made up of leaders of various street gangs and operates largely from inside California jails and prisons. The capos order their subordinates to collect a “tax” for drug trafficking or to kill those who oppose or resist them.
For decades, Peter Ojeda was the head of the Mexican Mafia in Orange, running operations from behind bars. After his death in 2018, at least three men filled the void, prosecutors say.
The Mexican Mafia began in the 1950s in a juvenile detention center and grew to become an international criminal organization for smuggling, drug trafficking and extortion in the California prison system, the largest in the United States.