Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boo, I see you

Fighting "La Eme", the Mexican Mafia, is sorta like shining a light into a bathroom and watching all the cockroaches scurrying away as you try to step on them as quickly as possible. With the Fed's help maybe more will get caught.

Racketeering charges hit gang
Guillermo Contreras: Express-News

A federal grand jury indicted almost two dozen alleged Texas Mexican Mafia members Tuesday on racketeering charges that involve more than 20 slayings in San Antonio, Austin and Atascosa County.

Most of the 23 defendants, part of the state's largest prison gang, already were in custody on lesser or temporary charges.

FBI agents, San Antonio police and members of a gang task force fanned out to arrest the remaining few only hours after the indictment Tuesday, according to law enforcement and legal sources.

The indictment ups the ante, with charges that could result in the death penalty against some of the defendants, if approved by the Justice Department. One lawyer representing some of the defendants said he learned the charges could include murder, racketeering, drug-conspiracy and money laundering.

The indictment, expected to be unsealed today, ends a four-year investigation into the gang, also known as Mexikanemi.

The gang, founded by San Antonio native Heriberto "Herb" Huerta in 1984, has been recognized as the largest in the Texas prison system. It's not directly related to the Mexican Mafia prison gang of California, which started in that state's prison system 50 years ago.

Experts, however, say Huerta was a member in that gang and eventually got permission to start his own version in Texas. He's serving a life sentence in Colorado for racketeering-related charges.

Outside prison, its members have an ominous presence and are blamed for at least 10 percent of San Antonio's total homicide rate, according to, a Web site about prison life in America.

The Web site estimates that the gang has 30,000 members across the United States.