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Tag Archives: Mexikanemi

Mexican Mafia

Under heavy security, three men accused of being high-ranking members of the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang went on trial Monday on charges of racketeering and the unsolved murders of two dozen people in San Antonio.The federal government’s case against the Mexican Mafia features accused general Jacinto “Cache” Navajar, 54, and two men who authorities say had reached the rank of lieutenant in the gang, Jose Martinez and Mike Garcia.

The three are the remaining holdouts from a case that included 34 defendants in early 2008 — the fruits of an FBI-led investigation that began in 2004 and was aimed at crippling the gang’s operations outside prison.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia might take up to a month.

Most of the case’s defendants, including other high-ranking members, took plea deals to avoid potential life sentences, agreeing to prison terms ranging from six to 40 years.

Several admitted to participating in slayings that occurred between 2000 and 2005 in and near San Antonio.

Some of the killings grabbed little attention when they happened, but others gripped newspaper readers and television viewers because they were done in public. For instance, a gang rival, Juan Perez, was shot Dec. 5, 2004, in front of numerous witnesses in Graham Central Station, a Northwest Side nightclub.

In an opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Contreras gave jurors a primer on the gang, also known as “Mexikanemi.”

It was founded in 1984 by Heriberto “Herb” Huerta, Benito “Viejito” Alonzo and others. Huerta, 57, who Contreras called the gang’s “president for life,” is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado. Alonzo, 75, who Contreras said is “vice president for life,” is in a Texas prison.

“The Texas Mexican Mafia exists for one purpose: to commit crime after crime after crime, including murder,” said Contreras, who is prosecuting the case with Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Mary Green.