Mexican Mafia Members Charged for Narcotic Smuggling and Assault in LA County Jail System

Los Angeles, California – Thirteen individuals linked to the Mexican Mafia prison gang face charges for their involvement in a drug smuggling operation and violent assault within the Los Angeles County jail system.

The investigation, led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau and the FBI’s San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force, started in February 2022 after reports surfaced of narcotics being smuggled into the jail and a violent attack on an inmate. The operation, orchestrated by high-ranking Mexican Mafia associates outside of the jail under the direction of a member in state prison, aimed to maintain control within the criminal organization.

According to authorities, a Mexican Mafia “facilitator” relayed orders to associates within the jail, known as “Sureños” or “soldiers,” to attack an individual who falsely claimed membership in the Mexican Mafia. The victim, targeted for a serious violation against the organization, required hospital treatment following the assault orchestrated by the Sureños.

Additionally, Mexican Mafia leaders within the jail, known as “shotcallers,” coordinated the distribution of smuggled drugs among inmates to generate proceeds for the criminal enterprise. In one instance, a shotcaller reported to a facilitator that narcotics belonging to a Mexican Mafia member had been brought into the jail. Subsequently, over 30 grams of heroin were seized by law enforcement during the investigation.

The charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office included arrests of two defendants in March, while eight others were already in custody for unrelated charges. Two individuals are currently being sought by law enforcement, prompting a call for information from the public to aid in their capture.

Law enforcement seized substantial evidence during the investigation, including illegal substances, firearms, communication devices, and cash related to the criminal activities of the Mexican Mafia within the jail. The case, prosecuted by Deputy-In-Charge Lou Avila and Deputy District Attorney Abbigail Briones, sheds light on the ongoing efforts of authorities to combat organized crime and gang activity within Los Angeles County’s correctional facilities.

The dedicated work of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Departments Major Crimes Bureau and the FBI’s San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force highlights the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies to disrupt criminal operations and maintain the safety and security of the community. This case serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges posed by prison gangs and the continuous vigilance required to prevent their influence from spreading further.