23 Mexican Mafia Leaders Charged in RICO Case, 22 Texas Murders
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
United States Attorney Johnny Sutton and FBI Special Agent in Charge Ralph Diaz announced the indictment of 23 San Antonio residents, all of whom are in leadership positions in the Texas Mexican Mafia, for violating the federal Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
â€œIntimidation, violence and murder are standard operating procedure for these gangsters. This indictment is the first step in putting them out of business,â€ stated United States Attorney Johnny Sutton. â€œSince 2004, our office has put over 130 members of the Mexican Mafia in federal prison and we are committed to disrupting and dismantling this criminal organization.â€
Federal and state authorities arrested TMM Captain Michael Vargas, aka â€œMikio,â€ without incident late yesterday afternoon. Seventeen defendants charged in this indictment were already in custody prior to today. They are:
Jacinto Navajar, aka â€œCacheâ€, TMM General
Ruben Garcia, aka â€œChorreâ€, TMM Sergeant
Ted Ansualda, aka â€œPorkyâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Trinidad Gomez, aka â€œTrini Boyâ€, TMM soldier
Jesse Ramirez, aka â€œChuyâ€, TMM Captain
Billy Silva, aka â€œWild Billâ€, TMM Asst. General
Leonard Tremillo, aka â€œJokerâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Vidal Longoria, aka â€œCorkyâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Jose Martinez, aka â€œBam Bamâ€, TMM Lieutenant Joe Pena, aka â€œPanchoâ€, TMM General
Hector Martinez, TMM soldier
Jesse Ozuna, aka â€œLowâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Mark Alvarado, aka â€œKickbackâ€, TMM soldier
Trinidad Riojas, aka â€œTriniâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Mike Garcia, TMM Lieutenant
Carlos Ybarra, aka â€œCharlioâ€, TMM Lieutenant
Jesse Rodriguez, aka â€œChuyâ€, TMM Sergeant
Authorities are actively searching for the five remaining defendants.
The one-count federal indictment, returned on January 29, 2008, and unsealed on February 1, alleges that the defendants conspired together to further their criminal enterprise by committing 22 murders, 2 attempted murders, 1 solicitation to commit capital murder, robbery and extortion plus distributing heroin and cocaine. Upon conviction, each defendant faces life in federal prison.
The indictment alleges a pattern of racketeering activity committed by the defendants including the:
â€¢ shooting death of Florencio â€œLenchoâ€ Vasquez in September 2000;
â€¢ shooting death of Anthony â€œTonyâ€ Blanco in November 2000;
â€¢ robbery and subsequent shooting death Michael Sanchez in March 2001;
â€¢ shooting death of Ruben Hernandez in January 2002;
â€¢ shooting death of Ernest Guzman in May 2002;
â€¢ shooting death of Jose â€œArteâ€ Moreno in June 2002;
â€¢ shooting death of Henry â€œGueroâ€ Cantu in December 2002;
â€¢ shooting death of Agustin â€œAugieâ€ Macias in July 2003;
â€¢ shooting death of Jose â€œSpeedyâ€ Lopez in July 2003;
â€¢ shooting death of Raymond â€œMonâ€ â€œNochipaâ€ Rodriguez in September 2003;
â€¢ shooting death of Jesse â€œPsychâ€ Medina in February 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Robert â€œBetoâ€ Gleason in March 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Robert â€œRobeâ€ Murillo Fernandez in August 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Jesse â€œPelonâ€ Guevara in August 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Mercy Brooks in September 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Tony Rodriguez in November 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Juan â€œGreenâ€ Perez in December 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Roy Vera in December 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Joe Santos in November 2004;
â€¢ shooting death of Rudy â€œScoobyâ€ Contreras in January 2005;
â€¢ shooting death of Hector Martinez in January 2005;
â€¢ shooting death of Robert Sanchez in April 2005;
â€¢ attempted murder of Ruben Rodriguez in January 2002;
â€¢ attempted murder of Ernesto â€œNetoâ€ Rodriguez in June 2007;
â€¢ solicitation of the capital murder of Lydia Castro in January 2003; â€¢ obtain large amounts of heroin and cocaine for further distribution and sale;
â€¢ control the distribution of heroin and cocaine by restricting drug trafficking among non-Texas Mexican Mafia members to those who paid extortion fees or a â€œtax;â€
â€¢ protect â€œauthorizedâ€ drug distributors from robbery, violence and competition; and,
â€¢ using violence in all forms and degrees to enforce the Texas Mexican Mafia drug distribution â€œtax.â€
The Mexican Mafia was formed in the early 1980′s in the Texas prison system when predominantly Hispanic inmates banded together during a period of turmoil and violence within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Over the years, the gang has focused its efforts to promote widespread criminal activity including narcotics trafficking, extortion and murder. Also known as â€œMexikanemiâ€ or â€œLa Eme,â€ the organization was the subject of a 1993 federal indictment in the Western District of Texas which resulted in the conviction of Heriberto â€œHerbâ€ Huerta, the then President of the organization, and a number of his fellow gang members on drug charges.
In 1998, another federal indictment resulted in the conviction of Robert â€œBeaverâ€ Perez, a Mexican Mafia General, and 15 other fellow gang members for their pattern of racketeering activity including six murders committed in 1994 and 1995 in the City of San Antonio and eight murders allegedly committed by gang members in 1997. The 1997 homicides included the shotgun killing of five people at a residence on West French Place on August 8, 1997.
In 2004, 25 members of the Mexican Mafia were indicted and convicted of federal drug, firearm and money laundering charges. During the time of the conspiracy, the organization was responsible for distributing over 150 kilograms of cocaine and over 30 kilograms of heroin. Authorities also seized approximately 80 firearms and approximately $50,000 in cash.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.