Two Central Valley Men Arrested During Mexican Mafia Crackdown
FRESNO – A Fresno man and Visalia man were arrested for their connection to the Mexican Mafia during a statewide crackdown.
Federal, state and local authorities arrested a total of 13 men who were named in federal grand jury indictments, which contend that the Mexican Mafia prison gang allied with the Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia and a Los Angeles County street gang to run a drug operation from Fresno down to Mexico.
The indictments say that La Familia would sell methamphetamine and marijuana in Southern California, and in exchange, the Mexican Mafia agreed to protect imprisoned members and help funnel drug profits to jailed members. The alliance between the cartel and the gang was called “The Project.”
In Fresno, an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms team raided a home at Delno and Vassar avenues and arrested Michael Moreno, 55, who is also referred to as “Boo” in the indictments. In Visalia, Jimmy Ruben, aka “Rube,” was arrested.
The indictment says that Moreno, Soto and others associates of the Mexican Mafia would “communicate, including via telephone and in-person meetings, with members and associates of La Familia, in order to discuss how the Mexican Mafia could facilitate the possession with intent to distribute and distribution of drugs by members and associates of La Familia within the United States.”
They also would “arrange the delivery of drug proceeds provided by members and associates of La Familia to incarcerated members of the Mexican Mafia,” the indictment states.
U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte said that the suspects arrested during the crackdown “would have provided a ruthless Mexican cartel with an unprecedented distribution network as well as protection for their drug sales and their operatives here in the United States.”
Fresno Bee: Central Fresno Raid Part of CA Crackdown