Fourth BMC Gang Member Sentenced to 115 Months
BOISE – Jessie Rodriguez, 24, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boise today for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Rodriguez to 115 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Lodge also imposed a $4,000 fine.
According to the plea agreement, Rodriguez is a member of the “Brown Magic Clica” (BMC), a Sureño street gang with members in the Districts of Idaho and Oregon. Rodriguez admitted that he and other members of BMC agreed to participate in BMC's gang activities through a pattern of racketeering activity. According to the plea agreement, on July 8, 2006, Rodriguez was in an altercation with individuals attending a celebration of a child's baptism at a residence in Parma, Idaho. Rodriguez and several other BMC members went to the residence and approached the crowd of people in the back yard. Rodriguez admitted to firing shots from a rifle at individuals in the crowd.
Rodriguez also admitted to attempting to murder a rival gang member by participating in a drive-by shooting on July 15, 2006, in Ontario, Oregon. The rival gang member was not shot, but another person in the house was struck by a bullet in the upper thigh. The victim was airlifted to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Numerous family members, including children, were inside the residence at the time of the shooting.
On May 17, 2010, Rodriguez approached several individuals in Payette, Idaho, yelled “13th Street BMC,” and demanded to know which gang they were in. When the individuals responded that they were not in a gang, Rodriguez produced a knife and attempted to engage them in a fight.
At sentencing, Judge Lodge stated, “These gangs are like a devil's workshop. If you want to live in this community you have an obligation to try and make it a good place to live. This gang exists in order to instill fear and intimidation in the very community your family has to live.” In sentencing the defendant to 115 months in prison, Judge Lodge noted that Rodriguez's and the gangs' actions of shooting into people's houses, where children and older people are present and who not affiliated with rival gangs, is “an extremely cowardly act.” Judge Lodge concluded the sentencing by telling Rodriguez, “I hope you don't need a judge to tell you that to join a gang whose initiation includes getting beat by several other members is about as stupid as it gets.”
Another gang member, Adam Gomez, 24, of Boise, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2012. Gomez pled guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
A jury trial is set for May 15 for the remaining defendants named in the federal indictment – Alfredo Castro, 35, of Boise; Oscar Garcia, 26, of Umatilla, Oregon; Adelaido Gomez, 26, of Boise; Juan Gonzalez, 26, of Cottonwood, Idaho; Juan Jimenez, 27, of Boise; and Amando Garcia, Jr., also known as Amando Torres, 28, of Pendleton, Oregon.
Three co-defendants have been sentenced to date. Samson Torres, 23, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; Mathew Grover, 22, of Fruitland, Idaho, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and unlawful possession of a firearm; and Ruben Nungaray, 30, of Boise, was sentenced to 92 months in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm. Because Nungaray was previously convicted of aggravated assault in 2004 in Payette County, Idaho, he is prohibited from possessing firearms.
“We will not let gang violence ruin our communities,” said Olson. “We will use the strongest prosecution tools we have to take violent gang members off the street to serve long terms in federal prisons. We will work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that ordinary community or family events are free from wanton acts of violence motivated by misguided gang alliances. Mr. Rodriguez earned each of the 115 months that he will serve in prison.”
The federal racketeer influenced corrupt organizations (RICO) law prohibits individuals from participating, or conspiring to participate, in the conduct of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. An enterprise is defined as any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity. Racketeering activity is defined as specified criminal acts, including murder, arson, distribution of controlled substances, and intimidation and retaliation against witnesses.
Operation Black Magic included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, the Meridian Police Department, the Nampa Police Department, the Nyssa Police Department, the Ontario Police Department, and the Oregon State Police. The Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force is one of 160 Safe Streets task forces nationwide in which local, state and federal law enforcement agencies combine their resources and expertise to address gangs and other public safety issues across traditional jurisdictional boundaries throughout the Treasure Valley.
Operation Black Magic is being prosecuted federally by Assistants U.S. Attorney and the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southeast Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit www.treasurevalleypartners.org.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.