U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of Texas
Northern District of Indiana
For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Jose Angel Moreno, United States Attorney
Contact: Angela Dodge, Public Affairs Officer
Raza Unida Gang Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Racketeering
Two other Gang Members Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Raza United gang leader Johnny Joe Guerra will be serving the rest of his life in federal prison for drug trafficking and two other members of the Raza Unida gang will be serving lengthy prison terms for committing Violent Crimes in aid of Racketeering (VICAR), United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Raza Unida Gang Leader Johnny Joe Guerra, 33, Ricky Alejandro, 25, and Anthony Torres, 35, all U.S. Citizens and residents of Corpus Christi, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janis Jack. All three defendants pleaded guilty in June to various counts of the indictment in which they and 11 other members or associates of the Raza Unida gang were charged with VICAR to include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and various federal firearm violations. The VICAR indictment alleged three violent crimes committed in Corpus Christi, Texas, by Raza Unida gang members, including a home invasion in which a man was shot and two other shootings at Corpus Christi nightclubs.
Guerra was sentenced to life without parole for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Ricky Alejandro was sentenced to three concurrent sentences of 140 months for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering to be followed by an 84-month consecutive sentence for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence for a total prison term of 224 months. Anthony Torres was sentenced to 57 months for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering to be followed by a consecutive sentence of 120 months for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence for a total of 177 months incarceration. All federal prison terms are without the benefit of parole.
The charges against these three defendants and the others charged some of which are pending trial and others pending sentencing are the result of an ongoing investigation dubbed Operation Prison Cell being conducted jointly by special agents of the Corpus Christi office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and officers of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of Inspector General and the Corpus Christi Police Department Gang and Organized Crime Units.
All three defendants have been in federal custody pending today's sentencing hearing and will remain in custody to serve their sentences.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Patterson.