Gang Shot-Caller Pleads Guilty to Racketeering, Drug Charges

By City News Service

A gang member who helped manage a coalition of three rival street gangs in Northeast Los Angeles brought together by orders issued by a Mexican Mafia member pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges and admitted being a primary supplier of narcotics to the criminal enterprise.

Santos “Slim” Zepeda, 33, of Glendale, a senior member of the Frogtown gang, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — RICO — and conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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.

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 filed in Los Angeles federal court. 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, according to the document.

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez set sentencing for Jan. 22, at which time Zepeda faces between 10 years and life in federal prison.

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August 17, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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