Police hit hierarchy of SB Mexican Mafia

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Police hit hierarchy of SB Mexican Mafia

Post  TumbleWeed on Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:53 pm

Police hit hierarchy of Mexican Mafia

SAN BERNARDINO: DEA and Inland area officers arrest 19 and seize cash, drugs and guns.


By PAUL LAROCCO
The Press-Enterprise

SAN BERNARDINO - Seven months of undercover work has produced what authorities call a dismantling of San Bernardino's Mexican Mafia, believed to be powerful figures in both nationwide methamphetamine trafficking and local street crime.
Story continues below
Greg Vojtko / The Press-Enterprise
Law enforcement agencies seized 56 guns, about $1 million worth of methamphetamine and almost $1 million in cash in a raid on what officials call an arm of the Mexican mafia.

Working with federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, more than 400 police officers from throughout the Inland region served 43 search warrants on suspected Mexican Mafia and gang members early Tuesday.

They seized 56 guns, about $1 million worth of methamphetamine and nearly that much in cash, while also making 19 arrests. Among those booked were two brothers dubbed "shot callers" in the Mexican Mafia, and six others from the organization's top, officials said.

"I'm not just talking about the low-level gang members dealing drugs on the corner," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos. "I'm talking about the hierarchy."

Suspected leaders Salvador Hernandez, 42, and his 38-year-old brother, Alfred, both of San Bernardino, were booked at West Valley Detention Center on criminal conspiracy charges.

Other people suspected of being involved in the organization -- including one arrested on the San Manuel Indian Reservation -- were booked on mostly drugs- and weapons-related charges, said Lt. Mark Garcia of the San Bernardino Police Department.

They include: Arturo Ortiz, 30; Geahetta Amaya, 48; Erlindo Honesto Jr., 30; Stacy Barajas, 24; and her brother, Eric Barajas, 34, who was arrested on the reservation.

During an afternoon news conference, leaders from San Bernardino and the DEA stressed that the investigation has not been completed, but that Tuesday was something of a culmination.

"Clearly, we have penetrated deep into the infrastructure of the mafia," said San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, adding that the array of more than 30 guns seized Tuesday, sitting on a table in front of him, looked like his "old Army arsenal."

The investigation began in May, when San Bernardino police requested the DEA bring its Mobile Enforcement Team to assist in reducing the city's drug crimes.

Since then, 64 search warrants have been served and 119 arrests have been made, including Tuesday's. The operation has involved officers from the Riverside County and San Bernardino County sheriff's departments, Ontario, Rialto, Colton and Redlands police departments, and state parole and alcohol, tobacco and firearms officers.

That amount of manpower was necessary, officials said, because greater San Bernardino has become a hub for nationwide methamphetamine distribution.

Drugs produced in Mexico are commonly brought to the Inland area first, said DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen. From there, they can go around the corner or the world, she said, with people in San Bernardino reaping much of the profit.

"They have a significant corner on the market," Pullen said. "They're not just selling here on the streets."

Thirty-five pounds of methamphetamine were seized during Tuesday's searches, and according to Pullen, that equates to about $1 million in street value. Typical meth sales net a 400 percent profit margin, she said.

"It's a business, just like everything else," Pullen said.

Ramos said his office would decide whether to file charges in Tuesday's arrests by the end of the week, possibly as early as today.

San Bernardino Police Chief Michael Billdt said work remains but, "We've disrupted the hierarchy of this criminal enterprise."
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Re: Police hit hierarchy of SB Mexican Mafia

Post  Drop Out on Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:28 pm

WHEN DID THIS SHIT GO DOWN?

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Mexican Mafia

Post  Ty on Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:49 pm

Last summer.

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Re: Police hit hierarchy of SB Mexican Mafia

Post  Drop Out on Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:57 pm

WAS IT ON CINCO DE MAYO CUZ I REMBER THAT SHIT SWEEP THRO THE VARRIO HARD.

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Re: Police hit hierarchy of SB Mexican Mafia

Post  CaliforniaRepublic on Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:13 pm

OVS13xBELMONT*LOCOZ wrote:WAS IT ON CINCO DE MAYO CUZ I REMBER THAT SHIT SWEEP THRO THE VARRIO HARD.

I remember that...
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