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Press Release

Mexican Mafia Associate Found Guilty of Participating in Attack in Orange County Jail That Left Victim with His Throat Slashed

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

SANTA ANA, California – An associate of the Mexican Mafia prison gang has been found guilty by a jury of federal charges for participating in an attack on a fellow Orange County jail inmate in 2019, an assault that left the victim with his throat slashed, the Justice Department announced today.

Robert Amezcua, 52, a.k.a. “Flaco,” of Santa Ana, was found guilty Thursday afternoon of one count of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR), namely, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to evidence presented at a three-day trial, Amezcua is a member of the Madison Park clique of the Santa Ana-based Lopers street gang and an associate of the Mexican Mafia.

On December 31, 2019, Amezcua took part in the assault of another inmate at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange. Amezcua delivered more than 20 blows to the victim while another inmate, using a razor blade, slashed the victim’s throat. The victim survived the attack. Amezcua is one of 31 defendants charged in a 33-count federal grand jury indictment brought in 2022.

United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney scheduled a May 20 sentencing hearing at which time Amezcua will face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

Of the other two inmates charged with this assault and attempted murder, Mher Darbinyan, 48, a.k.a. “Hollywood Mike,” of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty on January 3 to conspiracy to commit assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and admitted in his plea agreement that he and two co-conspirators assaulted the victim. Darbinyan’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22. Robert Martinez, 41, a.k.a. “Lil Rob” and “Blacky,” of Placentia, another defendant charged in the 2019 attack, is scheduled for trial on June 25 on this charge and additional charges.

Of the 31 defendants charged in the original indictment, a total of four have been convicted at trial, consisting of three convicted of VICAR murder in October 2023, and Amezcua. An additional 15 have pleaded guilty. Three defendants remain for trial scheduled in April on charges of VICAR murder. An additional nine defendants remain scheduled for trial on racketeering, VICAR murder, and related charges on June 25.

The FBI; the Santa Ana Police Department; the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; the Federal Bureau of Prisons; the Anaheim Police Department; the Fullerton Police Department; the Orange County Probation Department; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Scally and Greg Staples of the Santa Ana Branch Office and Trial Attorneys Chris Matthews and Grace Bowen of the Justice Department’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section are prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated January 26, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-018