Gang Bust Gives Glimpse of Mexican Mafia's Grip on North County | NBC 7 San Diego

Gang Bust Gives Glimpse of Mexican Mafia's Grip on North County

119 gang members listed in federal indictment



    U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy details indictments against 119 gang members unsealed Wednesday.

    A federal indictment of 119 San Diego County gang members, including a Mexican Mafia boss arrested in a pre-dawn raid of his San Marcos home, portrays a sprawling, well-organized criminal network that ran drug dealing on the streets of North County and even extended inside the Vista jail.

    Rudy Espudo, 39, controlled Latino gangs in North County and demanded "taxes" from drug dealers and gang members as tribute to "La Eme" ---- Spanish for "The M" and a nickname for the Mexican Mafia, according to the indictment.

    Authorities also said that gang members smuggled drugs into the county-run Vista Detention Center and sold them for the Mexican Mafia, punished opponents and relayed orders with ease to and from the outside.

    The indictment, which contains prosecutors' reasons for arresting and charging 51 North County gang members, describes the money-driven politics and inner workings of several local Latino gangs.

    Some of the gangs have rivalries, but their leaders all obey and make payments to La Eme, a relatively small and powerful cabal of about 200 people spread out over several states.

    Read more on this story with our media partner, the North County Times.