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Press Release

Mexican Mafia Associates Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms

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

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 16, 2024

SAN DIEGO – Marquella Marshall and Marsha Delacruz were sentenced in federal court today to 180 months and 48 months in prison, respectively, for their parts in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy that operated in San Diego jails.

According to court records, Marshall, a Texas resident who previously lived in San Diego, is an Eastside San Diego street gang member and a “facilitator” and “secretary” for the Mexican Mafia. In that role she was tasked by high-ranking Mexican Mafia members to communicate on their behalf, collect and launder money, handle drug transactions, and direct street operations on the Mafia’s behalf.  

At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns described Marshall as “a conduit” for the Mexican Mafia and further described the distribution conspiracy as “an assault on the integrity of the prison system.”

U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said: “Drug smuggling and use in prisons result in overdose, violence, and power struggles. These significant sentences are a strike against the prison drug culture which puts guards and staff at risk and exists in large part because of dangerous gangs like the Mexican Mafia.”

“Our focus is and always will be on protecting our communities from violent gang activity and the distribution of dangerous narcotics," said FBI San Diego Acting Special Agent in Charge John Kim.  "This was a collective effort, and we thank our partners that make up the Violent Crime Task Force – Gang Group for their coordination in disrupting the illegal activities of the Mexican Mafia and ensuring Marshall and Delacruz suffer the consequences of their actions.”

Delacruz, of Lemon Grove, who also is an Eastside San Diego street gang member, worked at the direction of Marshall. As part of the conspiracy, Marshall, Delacruz, and others mailed methamphetamine to various locations, including jails and prisons in Southern California. Marshall and Delacruz disguised some of the narcotics-laden packages as legal mail to avoid detection by law enforcement and prison/jail officials.

Marshall, Delacruz, and several other Mexican Mafia associates were apprehended after an investigation by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force - Gang Group.

DEFENDANTS                                             Case Number 23-cr-00373-LAB                                        

Marquella Marshall                                      Age: 41                       Houston, TX

Marsha Delacruz                                            Age: 47                     Lemon Grove, CA


Conspiracy to Distribute of Methamphetamine – Title 21, U.S.C., Sections 846 and 841(a)(1)

Maximum penalty: Life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of ten years (Marshall only), and $10 million fine


Federal Bureau of Investigation, Violent Crimes Task Force – Gang Group (VCTF-GG), which included investigators from the following agencies:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • California Department of Corrections
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • National City Police Department
  • Bureau of Prisons
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • San Diego District Attorney’s Office Investigations

Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated January 16, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS24-0116-Marshall