You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Monday, September 30, 2013

San Bruno Man Sentenced To 70 Months For Obstruction And Being An Accessory-After-The-Fact To Three Murders

SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Ortiz, Sr. was sentenced on September 27, 2013, to 70 months in federal prison for obstruction of justice and being an accessory-after-the-fact to three racketeering murders committed by his son, Joseph Ortiz, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

Michael Ortiz, Sr., 50, of San Bruno, admitted that during the evening of December 22, 2010, his son, Joseph Ortiz, told him that he shot and killed several rival gang members in South San Francisco, California. Michael Ortiz, Sr. and other co-defendants agreed to hide or destroy the firearms used in the shootings in order to help Joseph Ortiz avoid arrest and prosecution as well as to hinder the investigation of the shootings. In addition, the next day, Michael Ortiz, Sr. drove his son out of the Bay Area and later helped him flee to Mexico. Michael Ortiz, Sr. also helped hide a critical witness from law enforcement in Mexico.

“This sentence should serve as a warning about the consequences facing gang members who use violence and intimidation to further their criminal enterprises,” said Clark Settles, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations, San Francisco. “Homeland Security Investigations will continue to use all of the resources and authorities at its disposal to attack and dismantle the dangerous transnational gangs operating in the Bay Area.”

Michael Ortiz, Sr., pleaded guilty on July 10, 2013, to being an accessory after the fact to racketeering murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 3 and 1959(a)(1); conspiring to obstruct justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2) and (2); and concealment of an object to obstruct an investigation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519 and 2.

The Honorable Susan Illston, United States District Court Judge, handed down the 70 month sentence. Judge Illston also ordered the defendant to serve a three-year term of supervised release during which he may be searched by any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer with or without cause.

Joseph Ortiz, AKA “Little Vicious,” member of the 500 Block/C Street Gang, pleaded guilty to the racketeering murders on July 19, 2013. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Susan Illston on November 8, 2013.

Acadia L. Senese and W.S. Wilson Leung are the Assistant United States Attorneys who are prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Kevin Costello, Ponly Tu, Marina Ponomarchuk, and Daniel Charlier-Smith. This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Daly City Police Department and the South San Francisco Police Department, working with Homeland Security Investigations, and with the assistance of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Of the nineteen defendants originally charged as a result of this investigation, fourteen have pleaded guilty to racketeering-related offenses and/or offenses related to the obstruction of justice.

(Ortiz second superseding indictment )



Updated November 18, 2014