Mexican Mafia Affiliate Sentenced in RICO Conspiracy

United States Attorney Laura E Duffy announced that Silvano Hernandez, Jr, a Mexican Mafia associate from San Diego, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony J Battaglia to serve 210 months (17.5 years) in custody after Hernandez pled guilty to conspiracy to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise (RICO conspiracy), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962. Hernandez was one of 36 individuals arrested last year as part of Operation Carnalismo, an investigation that targeted the Mexican Mafia’s organized criminal activity. Operation Carnalismo was one of three similar investigations charged at the same time that focused on Mexican Mafia crime, which resulted in well over 100 arrests of local gang members and associates in January 2012. Court filings described the Mexican Mafia as a notorious, violent prison gang that controls and benefits from a large portion of the criminal activity committed by Southern California Hispanic street-gang members.

The Mexican Mafia and its associates engage in a variety of crime in order to maintain their presence in the criminal world, including murder, assault, kidnapping, extortion. Drug trafficking is the Mexican Mafia’s largest source of revenue. As part of his plea, Hernandez admitted to participating in the organized criminal activity of the Mexican Mafia. Specifically, he admitted to distributing, on average, 30-40 pounds of methamphetamine per month in San Diego.

Hernandez stated that he distributed anywhere from 1/4-pound to multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine to a number of drug dealers who, in turn, sold the methamphetamine in smaller quantities. Assistant United States Attorney Peter J Mazza, the lead prosecutor on the case, told Judge Battaglia at today’s sentencing hearing that the 30-40 pounds of methamphetamine Hernandez distributed onto the streets of San Diego every month roughly equated to well over 50,000 doses of methamphetamine per month. At the time of his arrest, investigators seized nearly $150,000 in cash from his residence and a 2011 Lincoln sedan valued at approximately $50,000. United States Attorney Duffy praised the members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Violent Crimes-Gang Group (AVCTF-GG), which led this investigation, for their continued, outstanding work in pursuit of Mexican Mafia crime.

The VCTF-GG is a federal task force composed of investigators from the FBI; Bureau of Prisons; and the San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City Police Departments. Defendant in Criminal Case No. 12CR290-AJBSilvano Hernandez, Jr Age: 40 Progress of Cases Charged as Part of Operation Carnalismo Summary: As of March 15, 2013, 30 of 36 defendants have been convicted, and 14 of those 30 have been sentenced. 12CR290-AJB Convictions Salvadore Colabella—RICO conspiracy Jose Luis Mercado—RICO conspiracy Robert Mercado—Violent Crime in aid of racketeering (168 months in custody) Maria de Jesus Claudia Ochoa—RICO conspiracy Silvano Hernandez—RICO conspiracy Jose Briseno-Contreras—RICO conspiracy (46 months in custody) 12CR291-AJB—Convictions Ramon Agredano—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (84 months in custody)Ricardo Cornejo—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (135 months in custody)David York—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamineGuillermo Chaidez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)Adrian Dominguez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamineCharles Smith—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Anna Sheneman—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (93 months in custody) Esteban Rodriguez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (60 months in custody) 12CR292-AJB—Convictions Juan Guerrero—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (135 months in custody) Jorge Moreno—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Eduardo Moreno—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody) Allen Mundell—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamineBrett Youkel—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody) Lacy McElroy—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (100 months in custody) 12CR293-AJB—Convictions Alfredo Bazurto—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Charles Monroe—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Jose Pedro Covarrubias—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody) George Chavez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Jose Esparza—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine John Atkinson—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody) Annabel Vasquez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Fantaja Deleal—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (78 months in custody) 12CR294-MMA—Convicted Carlos Lozano—Distribution of methamphetamine (57 months in custody) Investigating Agencies Federal Bureau of Investigation Chula Vista Police Department San Diego County Sheriff’s Department National City Police Department San Diego Police Department San Diego County District Attorney’s Office United States Bureau of Prisons California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation San Diego County Probation DepartmentImmigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations

Published on: 2013-03-19

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