Two BMC Gang Members Sentenced
Three others set for sentencing in February
BOISE – Two members of the “Brown Magic Clica” (BMC) Sureno street gang were sentenced today in United States District Court in Boise, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. The two men appeared before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Samson Torres, 23, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced to 70 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. He pled guilty on October 13, 2011.
Mathew Grover, 22, of Fruitland, Idaho, was sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and unlawful possession of a firearm. He pled guilty on July 27, 2011.
Judge Lodge ordered Torres and Grover to each pay a $2,000 fine.
According to court documents, Grover and Samson entered into a conspiracy with other BMC gang members to participate in the conduct of BMC through a pattern of racketeering activity. According to court documents, BMC members were ordered by the gang's leaders to engage in criminal activity and to distribute a portion of the profits from the illegal activity to gang members who were incarcerated. In court today, both Grover and Torres stated their desire to abandon their gang affiliations. Torres stated “none of this was worth it.”
“Today's sentencings show that gang members who commit crimes will spend significant time in federal prison,” said Olson. “Gang violence damages our communities. In Idaho, federal, state and local law enforcement will work together to ensure that gang violence is investigated and prosecuted.”
According to the plea agreement, Torres admitted that on January 19, 2006, he was a passenger in a vehicle with other BMC members who believed they were being followed by members of a rival gang. After stopping their vehicle, at least one of the BMC members fired a .45 pistol and struck a passenger in the other car. Torres also admitted that between December 9, 2008, and October 21, 2009, he engaged in conversations with BMC members incarcerated in Idaho prisons about activities of BMC members. According to the plea agreement, on January 3, 2009, Torres was ordered to have two juvenile BMC members commit arson against Club 7 in FruItland, Idaho. On February 8, 2009, during a conversation with another BMC member, Torres was ordered to have another BMC member physically attack and kill another BMC member. Torres further admits to selling methamphetamine on April 2, 2009, April 16, 2009, and July 2,2009. Judge Lodge found Torres was a leader of the gang.
Grover admitted that on April 21, 2009, he conspired with a co-defendant and others to distribute oxycodone, and that he sold two .22 revolvers and a stolen motorcycle to another BMC member. Grover also admitted that on August 28, 2009, he sold three firearms and methamphetamine to a BMC member. Grover is prohibited from possessing firearms because he had previously been convicted of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.
Co-defendant Salvador Apodoca, 24, of Pendleton, Oregon, pleaded guilty on September 29, 2011, to assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 6, 2012, at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Co-defendant Jessie Rodriguez, 26, of Nyssa, Oregon, pled guilty on December 6, 2011, to 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. Sentencing is set for February 21.
Co-defendant Adam Gomez, 24, of Boise, pled guilty on December 7, 2011, to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21.
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.
Co-defendant Ruben Nungaray, 30, of Boise, was sentenced on November 29, 2011, to 92 months in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm. Because he was previously convicted of aggravated assault in 2004 in Payette County, Idaho, Nungaray was prohibited from possessing firearms.
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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Ada County Sheriff's Office, the Boise Police Department, the Caldwell Police Department, the Canyon County Sheriff's Office, the Idaho Department of Corrections, the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, the Meridian Police Department, the Nampa Police Department, the Nyssa Police Department, the Ontario Police Department, the Oregon State Police, and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The investigation is ongoing.
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.