High-Ranking Oxnard Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison

High-Ranking Oxnard Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison title=
High-Ranking Oxnard Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison
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By the Department of Justice

A high-ranking member of the Oxnard-based Surtown Chiques street gang was sentenced today to 162 months in federal prison for attempting to secure control of drug trafficking in Ventura County and extorting “taxes” on behalf of the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

Armando “Criminal” Molina, 39, of Ventura, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt.

At the conclusion of a four-day trial in September 2019, a federal jury found Molina guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and five counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

Molina was arrested in November 2013 as part of Operation “SuperNova,” a multi-agency task force investigation that targeted Mexican Mafia-affiliated street gangs in Ventura County.

The federal criminal complaint on which Molina was arrested targeting “shotcallers” of Ventura County street gangs. The criminal complaint details a year-long undercover investigation and outlines a series of narcotics transactions that led to the seizure of more than two pounds of methamphetamine and quantities of heroin that were being sold on the streets of Ventura County.

The drugs were supplied by a drug trafficking organization controlled by Mexican Mafia member Martin Madrigal-Cazares. Local street gangs communicated with the head of the organization in Mexico, while controlling narcotics sales and collecting “taxes” on behalf of the Mexican Mafia in Ventura County.

From October 2012 and March 2013, Molina and his co-conspirators sold approximately 267 grams of pure methamphetamine to a confidential informant working for an FBI task force.

“[Molina] was more than some street dealer doling out methamphetamine to addicts to make a buck,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “Rather, he was a key member in a broader, more dangerous criminal enterprise that sought to dominate profitable criminal conduct over the Ventura County region.”

On the eve of Molina’s trial in 2019, a co-defendant, Frank Joshua “Villain” Ruiz, 40, of Ventura County, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In February 2020, Judge Kronstadt sentenced Ruiz to 135 months in federal prison.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI, the Ventura Police Department, and the Oxnard Police Department. The Ventura County-Multi-Agency Gang Task Force is one of many FBI Safe Streets Task Forces throughout the United States, funded for the purpose of assisting local police in identifying and addressing violent crime in America.

Assistant United States Attorney Mack E. Jenkins, Chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, prosecuted this case.

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doulie Oct 17, 2022 08:09 PM
High-Ranking Oxnard Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison

What did I miss? Molina was arrested in 2013, convicted in 2019 & not sentenced until 2022? Can't help but wonder what was happening with each suspect between the years of arrest and sentencing. Reading the article it appears, in addition to Ruiz, Molina was working with other "co-conspirators." Since this was Federal case, the volume of meth sold & all the charges added; in addition to what is likely a less than stellar background of each, could these boys have been looking at quite a few years in prison beyond their actual sentences? If this is accurate, one has to wonder if these boys were "snitching" during the time from arrest to sentencing. Sentencing was continued and not reduced from a more significant sentence until they completed their "agreement" with the cops. Hopefully this "agreement" led to more arrests? But, why the FBI and not DEA investigators? Nice work.

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