Three individuals are charged with 19 counts of racketeering in connection with their alleged affiliation with the dangerous Nuestra Familia gang, according to a recent report from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
A 2013 indictment obtained by Breitbart Texas accuses 48-year-old Gary Romero, also known as “Pizza,” and 34-year-old Joe Felix, also known as “Gator,” of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it. Both men are from the Frensno area of California.
The indictment stated that from May 2012 until March 2013, the defendants “did knowingly and intentionally conspire and agree with each other…to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The controlled substance contained 500 grams and more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.”
The pair, along with several other individuals, were ordered to forfeit all property derived from the profits of the accused drug sales.
According to the DOJ, a new indictment was returned on April 30, 2014. It included new charges against the two men and added a new defendant, 30-year-old Jesus Gomez Felix of Modesto, California. Felix was reportedly arrested for his alleged role in the scheme on May 5.
More specifically, Felix allegedly aided in racketeering by using a dangerous weapon to inflict bodily harm.
The Nuestra Familia is a Mexican-American prison gang that formed in the prison system in the 1960s, but also has a significant presence on the streets. It is primarily located in California, according to the DOJ. The bulk of the gang’s illegal activities are focused on the trafficking of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth.
The indictment stated that Romero was a high-ranking member, and a 20 year veteran, of the gang. He had apparently reached a level of authority which allowed him to order murders, assaults, and drug dealing by other members. Felix also allegedly ordered Nuestra Familia members to commit murders, according to court records.
The DOJ stated that Romero and Felix ultimately each face numerous charges related to racketeering. They each additionally face counts of conspiracy and bribing. Jesus Felix is charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm during a crime.
Breitbart Texas has reported on the prevalence of numerous gangs on U.S. soil. Many such crime organizations have strong ties to Mexican cartels.
Over the last month alone, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations apprehended 600 gang members in the U.S. through a massive initiative called Project Southbound. The effort included involvement from law enforcement on the federal, state, and local level.
256 of those apprehended were foreign nationals from 21 countries. At this time, it is unknown how many of those were in the U.S. illegally at the time they were arrested. It is easy to surmise, however, that the figure is significant given that 113 of those apprehended were arrested for “immigration violations,” according to the HSI.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.