Member of Mexican Mafia Sentenced to U.S. Prison

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    A member of the Mexican Mafia will spend 14 years in federal custody after admitting to stabbing a man for his boss in a drug trafficking ring.

    Robert Mercado, of San Diego, was one of 36 people arrested as part of Operation Carnalismo. He was described by the U.S. Attorney’s office as a “high-ranking” member of the notorious prison gang.

    Mercado was a trusted lieutenant to convicted Mexican Mafia member Salvador Colabella who ran a methamphetamine trafficking ring prosecutors said.

    Court documents show Mercado pleaded guilty to stabbing a drug dealer who he believed was not properly paying Colabella.

    As of Feb. 15, 30 of 36 defendants have been convicted and 12 of those 30 have been sentenced.

    Court filings described the Mexican Mafia as a notorious, violent prison gang that controls a large portion of the criminal activity committed by Southern California Hispanic street-gang members.