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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Uvalde Texas Mexican Mafia Member Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison On Racketeering Offenses As Well As Assaulting A Federal Officer

In Del Rio today, 24-year-old Texas Mexican Mafia member Javier “Javi” Guerrero was sentenced to three consecutive life terms plus 210 months in federal prison for committing racketeering offenses and assaulting a guard at the GEO Correctional Facility in Val Verde County announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, ICE-HSI Special Agent in Charge Vincent Iglio, United States Marshal Robert Almonte, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez.

In July 2011, a federal jury found Guerrero guilty of several Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO)-based charges including one count of conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering and two counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering.  Those charges centered around various federal racketeering offenses committed in Uvalde, Eagle Pass, Del Rio and the surrounding area including the murder of Christopher Mendez on December 6, 2006, near Concan, Texas, and Jose Damian Garza in Hondo, Texas, on July 19, 2008. 

“Mr. Guerrero and those involved in organized criminal activity, including those in the Mexican Mafia and other violent groups, should know that we will leave no stone unturned in prosecuting them and making sure that they are put where they can no longer pose a threat to the public.  For Mr. Guerrero, this will be for the rest of his life,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman. 

Guerrero is the last of twelve defendants convicted in this conspiracy to be sentenced to federal prison for RICO-based violations.  Prison terms handed down range from seven years incarceration to life in federal prison.  All twelve defendants conspired to conduct the affairs of the Texas Mexican Mafia through a pattern of racketeering activity, which included murder, solicitation of murder, drug trafficking, and extortion.  The extortion took the form of coercive collection of a ten percent drug tax, also known as “the dime,” from drug distributors known to the members of the criminal enterprise.  Collection was enforced by robbery, serious bodily injury, or other acts of violence, including death. 

“Today's sentencing confirms the seriousness of our collective efforts to address the outlaw activities of the TMM and the continued threat they pose to our communities,” stated FBI San Antonio Division Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.

“Today’s significant prison sentence of this dangerous individual is a positive step toward ridding our communities of violent street gangs,” said Vincent Iglio, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in San Antonio. ‘This sentence sends a strong message that HSI and its law enforcement partners will continue to conduct aggressive enforcement actions against members and their associates to bring them to justice”.

On October 25, 2011, while in custody awaiting sentencing on the federal racketeering-based charges, Guerrero assaulted a corrections officer by striking the officer in the face with his fists and his knees.  As a result, the guard suffered cuts to the nose as well as facial bruising and lacerations.  On April 24, 2012, Guerrero pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a federal officer.

“We’re pleased with today’s sentence. It sends a strong message to anyone who would assault a federal officer,” stated United States Marshal Robert Almonte.

The RICO investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hondo Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety–Texas Rangers, Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office.   The assault charge resulted from a joint investigation by the United States Marshals Service and investigators from the Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office and officials from the GEO Correctional Facility.
Updated December 15, 2014