Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Nine Hispanics have been indicted for being part of an extortion conspiracy in which agents of a Latino prison gang levied taxes on street gang members in Orange County, California
Representatives from an unnamed Latino prison gang regularly collected money from street gang members - money raised by drug-dealing and other criminal enterprise - which was then funneled back to the prison gang, according to a joint statement from the Anaheim Police Department, federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Orange County district attorney's office. Authorities said that the activity stretched from March 2010 until July 2011. Officials said that all nine will be arraigned: Alberto Vargas, 49; Gloria Aguilar, 55; Joe Lara, 40; Raul Gonzalez Hernandez, 36; Edward Barela, 49; Richard Aguilar, 43; Ismael Esquivel, 33; Marvin Robles, 47; and Annette Gomez, 33. The charges include conspiracy to commit a crime, extortion by force or threat, attempted extortion by threat and street terrorism. Officials said that two others arrested during the investigation face charges related to drug dealing. Alejandro Maldonado, 34, and Eugenio Salazar, 41, face charges including the sale and transportation of a controlled substance and transporting heroin from non-contiguous counties.