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California street gang indicted under RICO

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Yesterday, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson announced charges against 27 members of the Sur Santos Pride, also known as SSP, a San Jose, California based criminal street gang that operated under the control of the Mexican Mafia.

Unsealed, yesterday, was a 41-count second superseding indictment that included a RICO conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, including murder, several drug trafficking counts, and firearms related counts. According to the Second Superseding Indictment, SSP incorporated a racketeering enterprise and its members and associates agreed to conduct the affairs of the enterprise through, among other crimes, murder, extortion, attempted murder, assault, robbery, narcotics trafficking, obstruction of justice, and tampering with witnesses.

According to the second superseding indictment, a number of drug trafficking and firearms offenses committed between August 2010 and January 30, 2014, some overt acts that were committed include:

  • On or about December 4, 2009, Oscar Martinez Delacruz possessed with the intent to distribute 17.5 grams gross weight of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salt, isomers, or salts of its isomers.
  • On or about September 9, 2010, Gilberto Villela possessed with the intent to distribute and distributed about 108.1 grams of actual methamphetamine.
  • On or about September 21, 2010 Marcos Salvador Lomeli possessed a .357 Magnum with a obliterated serial number.
  • On or about July 18, 2011, Jesse Parra and a SSP associate possessed a firearm and two ammunition magazines loaded with seventeen rounds of ammunition.
  • On or about October 23, 2011, a number of SSP members, including Roberto Martinez, attacked, stabbed, and killed person identified as victim 7.
  • On or about January 30, 2014, Jesus Manuel Armendariz possessed a Springfield XD handgun, loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition. A Smith and Wesson MNP handgun, a Smith and Weston .45 caliber magazine, a .40 caliber Tarus PT24-7 handgun with no visible serial number, with a magazine inside, an AR-15 semi-automatic rife with no visible serial number and a Springfield Armory .45 ACP magazine.

Many of the defendants on the drug trafficking charges face a maximum of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. The defendants charged in the RICO Conspiracy face up to life in prison.

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