A gang member who helped manage a coalition of three rival street gangs in Northeast Los Angeles that were brought together by orders issued by a member of the Mexican Mafia pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges and admitted being a primary supplier of narcotics to the criminal enterprise, according to officials.
Santos Zepeda, also known as “Slim,” 33, of Glendale, a senior member of the Frogtown gang, plead guilty Monday to conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations or RICO Act and conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, officials said.
Zepeda was among 22 defendants named two years ago in a federal racketeering indictment that outlined how Mexican Mafia member Arnold Gonzales ordered the unification of three street gangs that were traditional rivals.
The “peace treaty” imposed by Gonzales in 2010 brought together the Frogtown, Toonerville and Rascals gangs, which worked together to control the narcotics trade and other illegal activities in an area that ran along the Los Angeles River from Elysian Park nearly to Burbank, according to authorities.
Because he was incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison after being convicted of murder, Gonzales appointed another Frogtown gang member, Jorge Grey, to be his emissary on the streets, according to the indictment.
Zepeda served as Grey’s top lieutenant, provided narcotics to the racketeering enterprise, and coordinated the collection of “taxes” imposed on street-level drug dealers.
Zepeda pleaded guilty Monday in federal court. He is scheduled to sentence the defendant on January 22.
As a result of the guilty pleas entered today, Zepeda faces up to life in prison.
The indictment details numerous transactions involving narcotics and firearms, and also contains charges related to two shootings allegedly committed against individuals who defied the rules imposed by Gonzales and his associates.
Out of the 22 defendants named in the indictment, 11 have pleaded guilty. The remaining 11 defendants, including Grey, are scheduled to go on trial on March 5.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2Fgang-member-facing-life-prison-running-drug-dealing-coalition-three-street-gangs%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151