Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2014

Sentencing for the co-leader of a Mexican Mafia-controlled gang that operated in a Los Angeles neighborhood near USC was delayed Monday until January.

Vianna Roman — daughter of an imprisoned Mexican Mafia member — is now scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 27 by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner.

Roman pleaded guilty in May to racketeering, narcotics and weapons offenses as a result of a plea agreement that recommends a prison sentence of no more than 20 years.

The 39-year-old Los Angeles woman admitted that she acted as a conduit for her father’s orders as he exercised control over the Harpys gang from his state prison cell.

Roman helped run the gang, which controlled illegal activities in an area southwest of downtown from Normandie Avenue to Figueroa Street and Washington Boulevard to Jefferson Boulevard.

Thirty members of the Harpys were targeted in three federal indictments resulting from “Operation Roman Empire,” a multi-agency investigation named for Danny Roman, who is serving a life sentence at Pelican Bay State Prison.

His daughter, Vianna, is married to Aaron Soto, 42, who was sentenced last week to six years behind bars on charges of racketeering conspiracy and possession of a firearm for use in a crime of violence. Prosecutors describe the couple as de facto leaders of the gang.

According to court documents, the couple received orders during visits to Pelican Bay in Northern California. They in turn passed Danny Roman’s wishes to high-ranking Harpys who oversaw drug sales and retaliation in gang territory.

A cut of the extorted cash was funneled to the defendant’s father, according to prosecutors.

During the course of the Harpys crackdown last year, investigators seized more than eight pounds of meth, almost a half-pound of heroin, about one pound of cocaine, 23 pounds of marijuana and 22 guns.

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

—City News Service

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