“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

A call was placed to authorities around 6:00PM of armed men aboard a truck in Playas de Rosarito, Tijuana, BC. Municipal police officers arrested 10 men; seized multiple weapons, and marijuana. But the most intriguing part of this bust was that police captured two high-level members of the California-based prison gang, the Mexican Mafia. Other men have been labeled as “Sureños,” part of gangs based in Southern California that operate under the Mexican Mafia. 

At least one of the ten arrested has an arrest warrant for homicide, confirmed state authorities. Their white Ford F-150 pickup had California license plates.
Jose Fernando is nicknamed “El Bullet” and is said to be the second in command of the cell under “El Evil” who has operated in Rosarito for several years.
Among those arrested were La eMe members known as “El Evil,” and “El Bullet” the leaders of the local cell in Mexico. “El Evil” has been wanted in the US by federal authorities for over 10 years. The detainees, José Fernando also known as “El Bullet”, 41 years old; Gerardo, 46; Henry, 33; Eric, 45; Randy, 34; Fernando, 34; Luis Alfredo, 29; Alberto, Luis Julio, and Armando, all three 51 years old. 
The men had in their possession 7 pistols including an FN 5.7mm “police killer” pistol and 2 rifles, a short AR-15 variant in .223 caliber, and a 7.62mm AK-47 type Draco rifle as well as ammunition. Also in the truck were 3 large packages of marijuana.

Martin “El Evil” Madrigal-Cazares has been a fugitive in Mexico for over a decade.

“El Evil” Controlled Ventura County for La Eme

In 2012, from a prison cell outside of the country, Martin Madrigal-Cazares, known as “Evil” was making himself known on Ventura County’s streets. Officials declined to disclose where or why Madrigal is serving time. At the time of ‘Operation SuperNova’ targeting gangs in the area, he was stated by the FBI to be a fugitive in Mexico. It came out the following year that he was serving a life sentence in a Mexican prison and his defense attorney argued that extraditing him to the US didn’t make sense due to this fact.

The Mexican Mafia member set up a ruling body or “Mesa” for the county to control the gangs and drug trafficking taxes in the area. “El Evil” was extorting drug profits from street gangs for the prison-based Mexican Mafia, according to a grand jury indictment. He was so feared that rival gangs cooperated on extortion schemes, drug deals, and violent crimes, according to law enforcement officials.

Madrigal, who also goes by Alberto, controlled the Ventura County area with a gang member named Edwin “Sporty” Mora enforcing his orders on the street level. Sporty would receive a written hit list from Madrigal and be given “permission to conduct extortion on behalf of the Mexican Mafia,” according to the indictment. “This was the first time we have seen a central shot-caller call around to different gangs in the county, and he brought them together to commit crimes,” said Sheriff Dean. “It’s really unusual for us to see. Gangs normally opposing each other were going together because the shot-caller was at such a high level in the Mexican Mafia they knew they had to comply.”

Edwin “Sporty” Mora and Alana Mora coordinated the street level amongst the rival gangs for “El Evil” and the Mexican Mafia.

2012 Operation Wicked Hand & Super Nova Investigations

The Ventura County operation, dubbed Operation Wicked Hand, started with two shootings in Moorpark and a heroin bust at about the same time. It resulted in the seizure of 32 firearms including 12 handguns, 12 rifles, 6 shotguns, 3 assault rifles, and a MAC-10 with a silencer. Also seized was $36,000 and a quarter pound of heroin. According to court documents, Mora is said to have indicated that a gang member named Little Rudy “was going to kick in money by Wednesday and if he can’t make that happen, Mora wanted the fool in the dirt.” The indictment makes it clear authorities had access to text messages and phone calls that gang members made among themselves. Sheriff’s officials said investigators thwarted several crimes, including two planned killings and a drugstore robbery.
The 35-count indictment portrayed Madrigal as a powerful leader within the Mexican Mafia. He was one of 27 people named in the indictment, 24 of whom had been arrested at the time. It is the largest indictment in Ventura County history. Charges included conspiring to commit felony assaults, extortion, home invasion robberies, narcotics trafficking, and other organized criminal activity all for the benefit of the Mexican Mafia. Following this large bust, Juan Rosas, another gang member of the El Rio gang stepped up into Mora’s role to collect taxes before being arrested himself.
But Madrigal at the time was in a Mexican prison. He was excepted to be extradited to face felony charges in the US. His Defense Attorney at the time, Jay Leiderman said Madrigal is serving a life sentence in Mexico. Extraditing him wouldn’t make sense when he would serve up to 20 years in the United States if convicted, Leiderman said. Prosecutor Joann Roth said she didn’t know the details of Madrigal’s incarceration in Mexico but that documents have been filed to extradite him.
Cefereso Number 14 in Gomez Palacio, Durango.

But all of this occurred 10 years ago. At the time, “El Evil” was said to be in the Cefereso Number 14 in Gomez Palacio in Durango, Mexico. He was supposedly serving a life sentence there. It is not known when he was released and why. It is likely his deportation or extradition to California could take place.

Killing of Rosarito Officer Roberto Drew Cortez

Rosarito officer, Roberto Drew Cortez, was attacked and killed this week. Cortez, a police officer for the last 6 years, was Head of the Tourist Section. He was off-duty (but not on suspension as initially reported by some). He was accompanied by his son when he was shot and killed while driving on Popocatépetl St. in the La Sierra neighborhood. His son was injured but remained in the vehicle and lived.

It is possible that his death is related to the capture of the 10 men tied to the Mexican Mafia gang and the weapons seized are currently undergoing ballistic tests to determine this fact, explained Ricardo Iván Carpio, State Attorney.

“We could not say yes, but of course, it is an important route to be able to confirm it, this could be through the result of the ballistics treatment, from the forensic laboratory,” said the official.