Three men accused of helping members of the Mexican Mafia pleaded guilty Friday to several charges linked to the criminal street gang, the San Diego County District's Attorney's office said Friday.
Jorge Munoz pleaded guilty to unlawful participation in a criminal street gang to assist criminal conduct by gang members and two serious felony priors. If convicted of all charges, he will be sentenced to 12 years in state prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 30.
Robert Moya Navarro pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, a serious felony prior and admitted the gang allegation. If convicted of all charges, he will be sentenced to 9 years in state prison on Nov. 20.
Elias Gudea pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, a serious felony prior and admitted the gang allegation. He sentencing is also scheduled for Nov. 20. If convicted on all charges, he will be sentenced to eight years in state prison.
Munoz, Navarro and Gudea were among 19 associates of a Mexican gang known as "Eme," or "La Eme" against whom the DA filed charges in July. Ten associates were arrested on July 13, according to the FBI.
Law enforcement also seized $51,000 in cash, methamphetamine, and heroin.
Investigators analyzed thousands of recorded conversations and written communication dealing with La Eme’s operations and criminal activity. They discovered that incarcerated Mexican Mafia members were using prison phones, email, mail and cellphones to order murders, assaults, extortions, drug trafficking and collect money for the incarcerated gang members, according to the DA.
Some of the charges filed against the gang associates include conspiracy to commit torture, conspiracy to commit assault with great bodily injury, conspiracy to commit arson, extortion, possession of drugs for sale and possession of an assault weapon, according to the DA.
Within the prison system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Security Threat Group searched 39 prison cells and confiscated 23 contraband cell phones, two subscriber identification module (SIM) cards, methamphetamine, narcotics and documents detailing Mexican mafia activities.