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LOS ANGELES – Four members of the violent, Mexican Mafia-affiliated Canta Ranas street gang have received lengthy prison sentences for violating multiple federal laws, including participating in racketeering, drug trafficking, and money laundering conspiracies.
Three defendants linked to Canta Ranas, a gang that operates primarily in Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, were sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. In two separate jury trials last year, they were convicted of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and other crimes.
The defendants sentenced on Monday were:
Earlier this month, another defendant, Enrique Holguin, a.k.a. “Boxer,” 56, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for RICO conspiracy and for committing a violent act in aid of racketeering (VICAR) for his role in the attempted assault of a fellow inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles because the intended target was perceived to be an informant for law enforcement authorities.
These convictions and sentencings arose from a 2016 federal grand jury indictment charging 51 defendants that was the result of Operation “Frog Legs.” Prosecutors have secured more than 20 convictions so far in this matter.
Operation Frog Legs is the result of an investigation by the Southern California Drug Task Force, which is led by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative. The Task Force members that participated in Operation Frog Legs were U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation, the Whittier Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Correctional Safety, Special Service Unit.
The trial prosecutors for these matters were Assistant United States Attorneys Carol Alexis Chen, Victoria A. Degtyareva, Kathy Yu, and Chelsea Norell, who are all members of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California (Los Angeles)