Leader of MS-13’s Hollywood Clique Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics and Weapons Charges
LOS ANGELES – A longtime member of the MS-13 transnational street gang, who is described in court papers as the “shot-caller” of the gang’s Hollywood clique, pleaded guilty today to federal narcotics and weapons violations.
Jose Ricardo Alfaro, aka “Shyboy,” 40, of Hollywood, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Alfaro was arrested in May 2017 during a major operation that targeted MS-13 following the filing of a racketeering indictment that charged nearly three dozen gang members and associates, including a dozen other “shot-callers” who led a majority of the gang’s cliques in the Los Angeles region. Alfaro was not charged in the racketeering indictment, but he was arrested after authorities executed a search warrant and discovered ammunition in his vehicle. Subsequent investigation revealed Alfaro’s role in orchestrating drug trafficking and firearms activities.
In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Alfaro admitted that he and other co-conspirators acquired methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, and they “communicate[d] using multiple cellular telephones and coded language to organize and discuss their drug-dealing business.”
Alfaro admitted that he was involved in the distribution of at least 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, and that he and his co-conspirators used firearms as part of the narcotics conspiracy. “For example, on or about April 9, 2017, [Alfaro] and a co-conspirator discussed acquisition of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles,” according to the plea agreement.
Alfaro pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 20.
As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Alfaro faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 50 years.
Alfaro committed the drug and weapon offenses while on supervised released in relation to a prior RICO case that targeted MS-13.
In relation to last year’s racketeering indictment, a trial is scheduled for March 26, 2019.
The investigation into MS-13 is a multi-agency effort being conducted by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs, which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department.
This case against Alfaro is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua O. Mausner of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.