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Top-ranking Mexican mafia members sentenced to lengthy prison terms

LUBBOCK, Texas - The two top-ranking members in command of the Mexican Mafia that operated in San Angelo and Abilene, Texas, were sentenced Friday to lengthy prison terms. The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings sentenced Eduardo Sosa Martinez Jr., aka "Roro," 33, of San Angelo, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Martinez held the ranks of captain and lieutenant. He was responsible for managing the Mexican Mafia's distribution of methamphetamine in San Angelo, Abilene, and throughout North Texas. Martinez pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of money laundering. Second in command, Sammy Garcia, aka "Candyman," 40, of San Angelo, was sentenced Sept. 25 by Judge Cummings to 17½ years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in May to distributing and possessing methamphetamine, with intent to distribute.

Fifteen defendants, mostly members/associates of the Mexican Mafia, were charged in a 15-count federal indictment with various offenses related to their operating a major methamphetamine-trafficking operation in the Abilene and San Angelo, Texas, areas, as well as throughout North Texas. All defendants pleaded guilty to their roles; two defendants have not yet been sentenced.

The following other defendants from San Angelo, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to methamphetamine offenses, were also sentenced by Judge Cummings on Sept. 25:

  • Emilio Lopez Garcia, Jr., 36 - 105 months
  • Johnny Sosa Martinez, 49 - 71 months
  • Armando Villarreal Jr., aka "Chucky," 32 - 188 months

Earlier this month, Gilbert Anthony Cuellar, aka "Rascal," 26, was sentenced to 20 years in prison following his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The Mexican Mafia, also known as "Mexikanemi" or "La Eme," is a prison gang that originated in the Texas prison system in the early 1980s. It operates under a hierarchical system with members holding ranks from 'president' down to 'prospect.' The Mexican Mafia is organized geographically so that each geographical area will have a ranking member to coordinate the gang's efforts.

Part of the Mexican Mafia's constitution states: "[i]n being a criminal organization we will function in any aspect of criminal interest for the benefit of advancement of Mexikanemi. We will traffic in drugs, contracts of assassination, prostitution, robbery of high magnitude and in anything we can imagine."

In addition to being actively involved in the methamphetamine trade, the Mexican Mafia imposed a "tax" on other individuals involved in trafficking narcotics by charging individuals who trafficked narcotics in their individual area. Mexican Mafia members often used threats, coercion, intimidation and violence to collect this tax or to prevent other individuals from trafficking narcotics in its geographical area.

In addition to ICE, this case was investigated by the following agencies and organizations: Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF); the FBI; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service; the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation; the San Angelo Police Department; the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office; the Tom Green County District Attorney's Office; and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Security Threat Group Gang Intelligence Unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag, Northern District of Texas Lubbock Office, is prosecuting the case.