A Mexican Mafia member who also headed a San Gabriel Valley gang that targeted black victims was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in federal prison.
James “Chemo” Gutierrez, 53, pleaded guilty in April to three conspiracy counts involving racketeering, narcotics distribution and money laundering.
Gutierrez, leader of the El Monte Flores gang, also was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt to five years of supervised release after he gets out of prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gutierrez was the lead defendant in a 41-person federal indictment detailing allegations of murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, robbery, burglary, carjacking, witness intimidation and other offenses.
The street gang — one of the oldest in the county — often committed “hate crimes directed against African-Americans who might reside or be present in the cities of El Monte and South El Monte in an effort to rid these cities of all African-Americans,” according to the 62-count indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Other gang-related crimes outlined in the 2014 document include the execution of a former Mexican Mafia member and the fatal shooting of four others in an El Monte home in 1995.
The indictment also describes an ongoing dispute involving members of the Mexican Mafia who were attempting to exercise control over the gang.
Other Mexican Mafia members serving life prison terms are not charged in the indictment, but they are listed as co-conspirators.
The gang maintained a significant presence at the Boys & Girls Club in San Gabriel, where gang members openly sold drugs, held gang meetings and even held a car wash fundraiser, according to the indictment.
Members of the gang also regularly used and threatened to use violence to extort “taxes” from local drug dealers and fraudulent document vendors, prosecutors said.
Several incidents in the indictment dating back to early 2001 describe black victims in El Monte being attacked, threatened and subjected to racial epithets.
Gutierrez recently served a 20-year sentence in a federal homicide case, prosecutors noted.
–City News Service