Thirteen Mexican Mafia Members or Associates Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Smuggling Ring Inside the Los Angeles County Jail System, and Violent Assault on Inmate

 

March 28, 2024

Thirteen members or associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang were charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for their alleged roles in a narcotic smuggling operation and violent assault that took place within Los Angeles County jail system.

Two of the defendants charged were arrested on March 14, and one was arrested on March 15. Eight defendants charged were already incarcerated on unrelated charges. Two individuals are being sought by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the FBI's San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force.

Beginning in February 2022, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Major Crimes Bureau and FBI's San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force began investigating reports of narcotics that had been smuggled into the Los Angeles County Jail, as well as a violent attack of an inmate within the jail. The narcotics smuggling and violent assault are alleged to have been coordinated by several high-ranking associates of the Mexican Mafia from outside of the jail under the authority of a Mexican Mafia member in state prison. That inmate had been charged with operating inside of a Los Angeles County facility on behalf of the Mexican Mafia criminal enterprise.

According to investigators and deputy district attorneys who filed the case being announced, a Mexican Mafia "facilitator" allegedly relayed orders to Mexican Mafia associates within the Los Angeles County jail known as "Sureños" or "soldiers" to attack an individual who had falsely claimed to be a member of the Mexican Mafia, an act considered to be a serious violation to the criminal organization. On orders passed through the facilitator, multiple Sureños are alleged to have attacked the victim who was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

During the investigation, a Mexican Mafia secretary and inmates known as "shotcallers," who are in leadership positions for the Mexican Mafia, allegedly coordinated the movement of drugs that had been smuggled into the jail. According to investigators, the narcotics were moved to different locations within the jail to be sold to other inmates for the collection of Mexican Mafia proceeds.

In another incident, a Mexican Mafia shotcaller within the jail allegedly reported to a facilitator that narcotics which belonged to a Mexican Mafia member had been smuggled into the jail by an inmate. As a result, investigators were able to identify the inmate in possession of the drugs. Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seized over 30 grams of heroin.

A search warrant at the facilitator's residence resulted in the seizure of approximately 10 ounces of methamphetamine, a firearm, numerous Mexican Mafia communications, and approximately $16,000 in cash found in envelopes labeled with the names of several shotcallers within the jail.

The following two defendants charged in this case were taken into custody on March 14 at their place of residence:

Estela Guerrero, 50, of Long Beach, California

Daniel Arochi-Gonzalez, 24, of Carson California

One defendant, Rosa Christina Martinez, 35, was arrested on March 15 in Compton, California.

The following eight defendants charged in this case are currently incarcerated on unrelated charges:

Jose Martinez, 36

Pharoah Brooks, 47

David Fraysure, 28

Jackie Triplett, 40

Jessie Quintero, 44

Andy Dominguez, 30

Angel Grajales, 33

Daniel Garcia, 37

The following two defendants are considered fugitives and are being sought by law enforcement.

Marco Lujan, 47

Ariel Pereyra, 28

Anyone with information as to their whereabouts is urged to call their nearest FBI Office or nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. FBI Los Angeles can be reached at (310) 477- 6565. Tips can also be provided at tips.fbi.gov.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Departments Major Crimes Bureau is responsible for conducting investigations and providing investigative services to agencies county-wide. In part, the Major Crimes Bureau specializes in organized crime and prison gang investigations. The FBI's San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force is comprised of law enforcement officers and Special Agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Pomona Police Department, El Monte Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Jails, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Bureau. The San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force was formed in 2008 and operates from the Pomona Police Department. One of its primary missions is to work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to combat, investigate, and dissuade gang violence from occurring within the Los Angeles County Jail.

This case was filed and is being prosecuted by Deputy-In-Charge Lou Avila and Deputy District Attorney Abbigail Briones with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Prison Crimes Unit.

 

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