Results tagged “El Paso” from The Court Reporter

Female Associate of Violent Prison Gang Gets Prison Sentence

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EL PASO-- A female associate of the Barrio Azteca prison gang was sentenced today to 18 months behind bars after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering offenses,  according to federal authorities.

April Cardoza along with 34 other Azteca members and associates were charged in a 12-count indictment that was unsealed in March 2012.

Barrio Azteca, a violent prison-street gang which began in 1980s, expanded into a international criminal organization and in the 2000s, Azteca members formed an alliance in Mexico with "La Linea," which is tied to the Juarez Drug Cartel.

The Azteca-Linea alliance was to battle the Chapo Guzman Cartel and its allies for control of drug trafficking routes through Juarez and Chihuahua, according to federal authorities.

Federal officials state that the drug routes through Juarez,  known as the Juarez Plaza, are important to the cartels because they are principal illicit drug trafficking conduits into the United States.

The case was investigated by the FBI's El Paso Field Office, Albuquerque Field Office (Las Cruces Resident Agency), DEA Juarez, and DEA El Paso. Special assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Diplomatic Security Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; El Paso Police Department; El Paso County Sheriff's Office; El Paso Independent School District Police Department; Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission; New Mexico State Police; Dona Ana County, New Mexico Sheriff's Office; Las Cruces, New Mexico Police Department; Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility; and Otero County Prison Facility New Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Barrio Azteca Prison Gang Leader Gets Life Prison Sentence

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El Paso -- A leader and two soldiers in the Barrio Azteca prison gang allied with the Juarez Drug Cartel were sentenced to life, 30 and 20 years in prison, respectively, according to federal officials. 


Hector Galindo, 38, aka "Silent," of El Paso, currently serving a 25-year Texas state sentence for murder, was sentenced to life prison.  Ricardo Gonzales, 44, aka "Cuate," of Anthony, N.M., was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Adam Garcia, 35, aka "Bad Boy," of El Paso, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

 

Galindo, Gonzales and Garcia were charged in a 12-count third superseding indictment unsealed in March 2011.  They were sentenced yesterday in the Western District of Texas.  Galindo, Gonzales and Garcia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering (RICO) on Jan. 26, 2012, Jan. 18, 2012, and Jan. 29, 2012, respectively. 

 

"As members of the Barrio Azteca gang, Hector Galindo, Ricardo Gonzales and Adam Garcia participated in a brutal criminal enterprise dedicated to spreading fear and violence on both sides of the border," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in a press release  "These prison sentences send a strong message that even the most powerful and ruthless gangs cannot evade justice.  Our prosecution of the Barrio Azteca gang, including for the U.S. Consulate-related murders in Juarez, Mexico, in 2010, has led to convictions against 24 gang members and leaders.  We will continue aggressively to pursue the Barrio Azteca and other gangs so that communities in the United States and Mexico can live free from the violence and destruction of organized crime."

 

     

The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at rhernandez@vcstar.com.