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Mexican Mafia dealt huge blow in San Diego- 100 arrested

In what has been described as a huge blow to the Mexican Mafia in San Diego County, a multi-agency task force arrested more than 100 alleged members from the major Mafioso groups based near the U.S./Mexico border.

The federal indictments filed by U.S. Attorney, Laura Duffy show those arrested are charged with multiple counts including, racketeering, drug trafficking and gun smuggling.

Perhaps the biggest fish netted by this multi-agency raid were high-ranking gangsters of a prison-based gang responsible for violent acts across the county. Duffy said eight arrestees were “shot callers” responsible for selling drugs and collection of protection/taxes bribes, gun trafficking and conspiracy.

Two of those “shot callers” taken off the streets were Rudy Espudo and Salvadore Colabella who were handcuffed on two separate indictments. It is alleged that Espudo and Colabella collected money that was then funneled to various Mexican Mafia bosses.

The criminal arrests were the culmination of year-long investigations called “Operation Notorious County” in North, East and Central San Diego County officials said. The North County Regional Gang Force ran an 18-month investigation called “Operation Carnalismo” and “Operation 12-Step” was under the helm of the East County Regional Gang Task Force.

Commanding LT. Hydar of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said this Mexican Mafia roundup depended on multiple agencies working in concert. “We had a good day,” she said.

The grand jury indictments extended to 119 gang members, 104 of which were arrested and 13 remain at large.

“This is a major blow to more than 20 (Mexican Mafia) street gangs,” U.S. Attorney Duffy said.

The FBI also noted that this bust is one of San Diego’s largest and sent a strong message to all gang members doing business in San Diego County.

“San Diego is inherently safer today because of the cooperation between our agencies working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal activities of these dangerous individuals,” said Keith Slotter, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI.

If convicted, the alleged Mexican Mafia members can be sentenced to at least five years behind bars, while other charges carry a life sentence.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Mexican Mafia leader a.k.a. “The Bat” sentenced to life in prison

In California, it’s three strikes and life in prison, and in the case of Jose Alberto Marquez “The Bat” the rest of his life will be spent behind bars.

After a four-day trial, the known Mexican Mafia defendant received a guilty verdict for distributing methamphetamine and intent to distribute drugs.

According to evidence presented at trial by U.S Attorney Laura Duffy, “Marquez is a documented Member of the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang based out of Southern California. Jurors learned during the course of the trial that the Mexican Mafia uses violence and extortion to exert influence in both state and federal prisons and on the streets of Southern California. Leaders in the Mexican Mafia, like Marquez, are called Members. While most Members are in custody, they are still able to direct the activities of local gang members who are out of custody. These gang members constitute the associates and soldiers of the Mexican Mafia.”

Marquez was extradited from Mexico when he traveled south of the border to escape U.S. drug charges. He is also a recognized member of the Del Sol gang.

Leading up to the trial “jurors learned that after April 2007, Marquez, orchestrated a methamphetamine deal from his jail cell involving multiple Mexican Mafia associates.”

Witnesses testified that “The Bat” operated business as usual drug sales while in jail.

Eyewitness testified in court that Marquez reached out to cartel associates using a telephone at the jail. However, unbeknownst to “The Bat,” those calls were recorded proving that even a jail cell would not hinder Marquez’s drug trafficking operation. Jurors also watched undercover video of drug sale transactions.

California’s three strikes rule ensures the Bat will never leave the prison system, but if history repeats itself, Marquez will attempt to move drugs while he serves time inside prison walls.

This investigation was conducted by the San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force – A Gang Group that investigates the illegal activities of the Mexican Mafia prison gangs in the U.S.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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