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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 7, 2022

Lowrider Gang Leader Sentenced to over 20 Years in Federal Prison for His Conduct within a Racketeering and Drug Conspiracy

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Mario Herrera, age 31, of Davenport, was sentenced on March 4,2022, to 20 years and 10 months in federal prison for his role in a drug and racketeering conspiracy that encompassed four attempted murders and a stabbing at a local bar.

According to court documents, Herrera was sentenced after pleading guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy and Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. In April 2021, charges were announced for 15 members and associates of the Lowriders, a Davenport-based street gang. The charges reflect criminal conduct underlying various crimes, including attempted murder in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking, tampering with witnesses, knowing transfer of a handgun to a juvenile, lying to the grand jury, use of persons under 18 years of age in drug operations, and a multitude of firearms charges.

In addition to Mario Herrera, United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey previously sentenced the following members or associates of the Lowrider Street Gang:


• Jacob Trujillo pleaded guilty to two counts of Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, and Use and Carry a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.


• Carmelo Reyes pleaded guilty to Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, and Use and Carry a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence and was sentenced to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison.


• Adan Herrera pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking and was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in federal prison.


• Austin Nichols pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.


• Antonio Herrera pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering and was sentenced to 8 years and 9 months in federal prison.


• Angel Mora pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, and Use of Persons Under 18 years of Age in Drug Operations and was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in federal prison.


• Cody Herrera pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.


• Tevin Lira pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy and Felon in Possession of a Firearm and was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in federal prison.


• Kerri Joanne Reitz pleaded guilty to Accessory After the Fact and was sentenced to three years in federal prison.


• Eduardo Herrera pleaded guilty to Felon in Possession of Ammunition and was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.


• Arnoldo Herrera pleaded guilty to Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition and was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in federal prison.


• Andres Arriaga, pleaded guilty to Tampering with a Witness and False Declaration Before a Grand Jury and was sentenced to time served.


Jose Miguel Pena also pleaded guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Pena is scheduled to be sentenced May 17, 2022. Five other Lowrider members were charged in the Scott County District Court with violations of Iowa law, including intimidation with a dangerous weapon, willful injury, criminal gang participation, and drug-related offenses. Previously, two other Lowrider members or associates were charged and sentenced for federal firearms violations.


• Zacharia Allen Clark was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months of imprisonment after pleading guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition related to an incident in which he shot at another person in the parking lot of a Davenport nightclub.


• Alejandro Francisco Herrera, Jr. was sentenced to one year and 4 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.


As a result of this investigation, twenty-two Lowrider Street Gang members or associates have been charged with crimes.


According to court documents, the Lowrider Street Gang was a local gang that operated mostly out of Davenport. The purpose of the gang was to distribute drugs, obtain money, and maintain respect in the neighborhood. Lowriders were expected to retaliate against their perceived rivals, such as the Latin King and West Side Mafia street gangs. The Lowrider Street Gang was organized by tiers of memberships; the highest rank was referred to as the “Shot-Callers,” then the middle-level ranking was “Older Homies.” The lowest level were the “Shortys,” who typically consisted of younger members, including juveniles, who had not yet put in “work” to gain a higher ranking. Lowrider members define work as dealing drugs, conducting robberies and shootings, or otherwise assaulting rivals. The Lowriders conducted their affairs through a series of rules and policies and enforced discipline through a system of violations in which members physically beat those members of the gang who violated the rules. The Lowriders also initiated new members through the practice of causing them to endure physical assaults conducted by members of the gang at various gang-related gatherings.

“I am thankful and proud of the courageous work our officers do in the City of Davenport every day,” stated Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski. “The amount of work by our investigators that went in to putting together this very complex case has been noticeably impactful in Davenport and in the Quad Cities. The unique and critical partnership we have with our prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office and our Quad Cities area law enforcement agencies, combined with the pure determination and commitment by everyone involved with this case, has made Davenport a safer place.”

“Whether by individual defendants, or by criminal street gang, violent crime has no place in communities like Davenport,” stated United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal. “The crimes committed in furtherance of this criminal enterprise, that included attempted murder, drug trafficking, transferred firearms to juveniles, possession and use of firearms, were extremely dangerous. We are grateful to the Davenport Police Department, and our state and federal partners, for the hard work to successfully prosecute these members of the Lowriders street gang.”

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal, of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The case was investigated by the Davenport Police Department with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, Bettendorf Police Department, Moline Police Department, and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated March 7, 2022