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Sept. 21, 2011

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Raza Unida Gang Leader Sentenced to 324 Months in Federal Prison for Racketeering

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Raza Unida gang leader Rudy Rodriguez will be serving 324 months in federal prison for drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder in furtherance of a racketeering enterprise, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Raza Unida Gang Leader Rudy Rodriguez, 31, U.S. Citizen and resident of Corpus Christi, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack. Rodriguez pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of an indictment in which he and 13 other members or associates of the Raza Unida gang were charged with Violent Crimes in aid of Racketeering (VICAR), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and various federal firearm violations. The VICAR indictment alleged three violent crimes committed in Corpus Christi, Texas, by Raza Unida gang members, including a home invasion in which a man was shot and two other shootings at Corpus Christi nightclubs. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to a VICAR count which alleged that he and other Raza Unida members conspired to kill another gang member, known as “Casper,” for stealing Raza Unida drug money. Rodriguez was an inmate in the Texas prison system at the time of the offenses and contributed to the conspiracies by use of an illegal cell phone.
Rodriguez was sentenced to 324 months for the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine conviction and 120 months for the conspiracy to murder conviction. The sentences are to be served concurrently. All federal prison terms are without the benefit of parole. The charges against Rodriguez and the others, some of whom are pending trial and others pending sentencing, are the result of an ongoing investigation dubbed Operation Prison Cell being conducted jointly by special agents of the Corpus Christi office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and officers of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of Inspector General and the Corpus Christi Police Department Gang and Organized Crime Units. 

Rodriguez has been in federal custody pending today’s sentencing hearing and will remain pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve his sentence.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Patterson.