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Twenty-four Defendants Convicted in Federal and State Courts On Gang Racketeering Cases

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By Paul Johnson

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) – Wendy J. Olson, United States Attorney for the District of Idaho, announced the sentencing’s this week of Oscar Garcia, 27, of Umatilla, Oregon, and Juan Anthony Jimenez, 29, currently incarcerated at the Idaho State Department of Correction, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Garcia, also known as “Bubba” and “Tiny,” was also sentenced for attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Garcia was sentenced on Monday to 124 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Jimenez, also known as “Loco,” was sentenced today to 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Both defendants pleaded guilty on January 18, 2013.
Garcia and Jimenez are the final federal defendants to plead guilty and be sentenced as part of the eleven-defendant Brown Magic Clica gang conspiracy originally charged in March 2011. Two other individuals were charged separately in BMC gang related cases. Ten defendants also have been convicted and sentenced in state court. The prosecution and sentencings mark the first federal RICO gang prosecution in the District of Idaho.
“Working together, federal and state prosecutors, federal, state, county and local law enforcement produced a significant victory against gang crime in Idaho and eastern Oregon,” said Olson. “The multiple convictions of Brown Magic Clica members under the federal RICO statute demonstrate that we will meet the gang business of violence and intimidation with federal 2 tools designed to disrupt this criminal conduct. To be sure, no law enforcement agency could have done this alone.”
Thirteen defendants, including Garcia and Jimenez, were charged in March 2011 in three separate federal indictments. Eleven defendants pleaded guilty earlier and were sentenced to serve federal prison time:
Alfredo Castro, a/k/a “Papos,” 26, currently incarcerated at IDOC, was sentenced on August 20, 2012, to 168 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Adelaido Gomez, a/k/a “Guy,” 28, currently incarcerated at IDOC, was sentenced on December 13, 2012, to 125 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Jessie Rodriguez, a/k/a “Pelon,” 28, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced on February 21, 2012, to 115 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, aid and abet; and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, aid and abet.
Amando Garcia, Jr., a/k/a Amando Torres, a/k/a “Toro,” 29, of Boise, Idaho, was sentenced on February 25, 2013, to 96 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and attempted murder in aid of racketeering. At sentencing, Garcia renounced his membership in the BMC gang.
Samson Torres, a/k/a “Gremlin,” 24, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced on January 9, 2012, to 70 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. He was also fined $2,000.
Salvador Apodaca, a/k/a “Bugz,” 26, of Pendleton, Oregon, was sentenced on February 6, 2012, to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering.
Adam Gomez, a/k/a “Lil Toro,” 25, of Fruitland, Idaho, was sentenced on April 16, 2012, to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Mathew Grover, a/k/a “Dreamin” 24, of Fruitland, Idaho, was sentenced on January 9, 2012, to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and unlawful possession of a firearm. Grover was also fined $2,000.
Juan Gonzalez, a/k/a “Chango,” 28, of Nampa, Idaho, was sentenced on October 16, 2012, to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Ruben Nungaray, a/k/a “Shorty,” 32, a former member of the BMC gang, pleaded guilty in July 2011, to unlawful possession of a firearm. He was sentenced on November 28, 2011, to 92 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Crista Lydia Lara, 25, of Ontario, Oregon, an associate of the BMC gang, pleaded guilty in November 2011, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She was sentenced on February 22, 2012, to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
The convictions are the result of a three-year Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force investigation named “Operation Black Magic,” which focused on the criminal activity of members of the BMC gang from 2006 to 2010. According to court documents, the defendants admitted that, as part of their participation in the BMC gang, they agreed that members of the gang would commit racketeering acts, including committing, attempting, conspiring and soliciting crimes of murder, arson, witness intimidation and retaliation, and distribution of controlled substances. BMC rules required members to engage in acts of violence toward witnesses in criminal investigations against BMC members, against rival gang members, and against other BMC members who did not follow BMC rules. BMC conducted gang meetings where gang business and criminal activity were discussed, dues were collected, and discipline was administered to members in the form of timed physical assaults conducted by multiple members. BMC members commonly used and distributed controlled substances, and also possessed and transferred firearms among members of the gang. The investigation of the BMC gang revealed that, from 2006 to 2010, BMC members committed two murders and at least seven attempted murders. The seven attempted murders included three “drive-by shootings” in Ontario, one shooting at the vehicle of a person delivering newspapers in Caldwell, Idaho, one shooting toward a crowd at a child’s baptism party in Payette, Idaho, and one stabbing of a person with a knife at a gas station in Caldwell. The investigation further showed that BMC gang members ordered, solicited, and conspired to commit numerous other murders and assaults.
Seventeen gang members and associates also were charged in state court, primarily on gang recruitment charges. Ten of those defendants were convicted and have been sentenced. One defendant is awaiting sentencing; another, Martin Navarro, 30, of Nyssa, Oregon, failed to appear for trial. A warrant is outstanding for his arrest. The other five defendants’ cases were dismissed as a result of the Idaho Supreme Court’s 2012 decision inState v. Simona Manzanares, interpreting Idaho’s gang statute.
Luis Nungaray, 26, of Boise, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on August 20, 2012, to two years fixed followed by two years indeterminate, for a total sentence of four years. The sentence was suspended and Nungaray was placed on probation for a period of two years.
Jose Jimenez, 28, of Nyssa, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Thomas J. Ryan on August 29, 2012, to two years fixed followed by three years indeterminate, for a total sentence of five years. The sentence was suspended and Jimenez was placed on probation for a period of three years.
Cesar Salinas, 31, of Nyssa, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on August 10, 2012, to two years fixed4 followed by two years indeterminate, for a total sentence of four years. The sentence was suspended and Salinas was placed on probation for a period of three years.
Paul Espinoza, 22, of Ontario, Oregon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge James C. Morfitt on May 21, 2012, to probation, with the judgment withheld for a period of three years.
Ricardo Martinez, 26, of Ontario, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on June 19, 2012, to two years fixed followed by three years indeterminate, for a total sentence of five years. The sentence was suspended and Martinez was placed on probation for a period of three years. Martinez violated his probation and Judge James C. Morfitt revoked his probation, imposed the original sentence, and retained jurisdiction for a period of 365 days on January 11, 2013.
David Perales, 22, of Ontario, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge George Southworth on February 19, 2013, to two years fixed followed by four years indeterminate, for a total sentence of five years. The sentence was suspended and Perales was placed on probation for a period of three years.
Miguel Gallegos, 29, of Vale, Oregon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on April 23, 2012, to two years fixed followed by four years indeterminate, for a total sentence of four years. The sentence was suspended and Gallegos was placed on probation for a period of two years.
Juan Esteban Gonzalez, 26, of Nampa, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on December 17, 2012, to two years fixed followed by three years indeterminate, for a total sentence of five years. The sentence was suspended and Gonzalez was placed on probation for a period of three years.
Jonathan Lopez-Villa, 27 of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to accessory to a felony and was sentenced by Judge Renae J. Hoff on August 10, 2012, to 364 days fixed. The sentence was suspended and Lopez-Villa was placed on probation for three years.
Roberto Martinez, 28, of Oregon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to recruit gang members and was sentenced by Judge James C. Morfitt on May 21, 2012, to two years fixed followed by four years indeterminate, for a total sentence of six years. The sentence was suspended and Martinez was placed on five years of probation. A probation violation was filed on January 16, 2013; a warrant is outstanding for his arrest.
Gonzalo Garcia-Torres, 26, of Oregon, pleaded guilty on April 23, 2012, to conspiracy to recruit gang members. Sentencing is pending while he serves time in Oregon on unrelated charges.
Together, federal and state courts sentenced twenty-three defendants to more than 136 years in prison.
“The federal and state prosecution of BMC gang members and associates is a victory for our community,” said Bryan Taylor, Canyon County Prosecutor. “This office will continue to work with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure that violent street gangs who threaten our communities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The convictions and sentencings of these twenty-three gang members and associates makes our community safer.” “I believe law enforcement officers and administrators from local, state and federal agencies in the Treasure Valley are making their message abundantly clear to the criminally inclined,” said Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue. “If you want to be a gang member and conduct illegal activity in our cities and counties we will identify you, arrest you, convict you and send you to prison. We are not intimidated by you nor will our efforts be deterred, I promise you.” “Here we have twenty-three gang members and associates who, thanks to the cooperative efforts of the federal government and local law enforcement, have been arrested, convicted and sent away to prison,” said Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney. “This case would not have happened were it not for the ability to have that cooperative effort.” Chief of Police Mark Alexander of the Ontario, Oregon Police Department stated that the BMC case has had a positive impact on gang crime in Ontario, and that the number of gang crimes in 2012 was down 50% from 2010 levels.
The federal racketeer influenced corrupt organizations (RICO) law prohibits individuals from participating, or conspiring to participate, in the conduct of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. An enterprise is defined as any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity. Racketeering activity is defined as specified criminal acts, including murder, arson, distribution of controlled substances, and intimidation and retaliation against witnesses.
The investigation included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise Police Department, Caldwell Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho Department of Correction, Malheur (Oregon) County Sheriff’s Office, Meridian Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Nyssa Police Department, Ontario (Oregon) Police Department


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