.

Walnut Man Pleads Guilty in Racketeering Charges in L.A. Gang Case

Manuel Valencia, 38, of Walnut, pleaded guilty to violating the federal racketeering statute and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise connected to drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The ring leader of a Los Angeles street gang that operated near USC pleaded guilty today to federal racketeering and drug trafficking charges.

Manuel Valencia's pleas come one week after the daughter of the Mexican Mafia member who controlled the Harpys gang from prison pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Valencia, 38, of Walnut, pleaded guilty to violating the federal racketeering statute and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise connected to drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In his plea, Valencia admitted that he oversaw and participated in gang activities, which included collecting "taxes" from drug dealers who were allowed to operate in gang territory, retaliating against people who ran afoul of the gang, and engaging in drug trafficking.

Valencia faces going to federal prison for life but prosecutors will recommend he serve a maximum 27 years behind bars.

Vianna Roman, 38, of Los Angeles -- daughter of Mexican Mafia member Danny Roman -- pleaded guilty last week to racketeering, narcotics and weapons offenses as a result of a plea agreement that recommends a prison sentence of no more than 20 years.

When she pleaded guilty, Vianna Roman admitted that she acted as a conduit for her father's orders as he exercised control over the Harpys gang.

With the guilty pleas of Vianna Roman and Valencia, a total of two dozen defendants charged two years ago in a federal racketeering indictment have pleaded guilty.

Out of the 29 defendants named in the indictment, one is still pending trial, three are fugitives, and charges against one were dismissed following his conviction of first-degree murder in Los Angeles Superior Court, prosecutors said.

The Harpys gang, also known as the Harpys-Dead End gang, controlled illegal activities in an area southwest of downtown from Normandie Avenue to Figueroa Street and Washington Boulevard to Jefferson Boulevard.

The City Attorney's Office last year filed civil enforcement actions to curb the gang's activity at two South Los Angeles locations.

—City News Service

joebanana May 08, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Why won't they go after the USDOJ for the same thing ?
kyle.cliffard May 08, 2014 at 04:27 PM
Yes, the USDOJ has no reason to go after these gang members. It is a waste of time and money to incarcerate these gang members when it should be law enforcement officers in jail instead.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »