17 people with ties to Mexican Mafia gang indicted on felony charges

The Mexican Mafia is a prison gang that commits crimes such as killings, extortion, and drug dealing inside and outside prisons. The gang controls many Southern California street gangs.

Seventeen people whom prosecutors say have ties to the Mexican Mafia prison gang were in court Monday and served with grand jury indictments listing felonies including conspiracy to commit crimes, street terrorism and extortion.

The grand jury named 28 defendants in a sealed 15-page indictment Wednesday. The document was unsealed in court Monday.

One juvenile was served Monday, prosecutor John Barrick said, adding that more people will be arrested.

Other charges in the indictment include conspiracy to sell narcotics, conspiracy to commit home invasion robberies, robberies and conspiracy to commit assault, according to Barrick.

The 17 defendants who were in custody pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Monday. Almost all of them were given court-appointed lawyers or are being represented by the Public Defender’s Office during the arraignment.

Bail for each defendant was set at $5 million.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Donald Coleman told lawyers that the grand jury transcripts would be given to them as soon as they are available. Coleman said another judge set the bail and that lawyers can request bail review hearings for their clients.

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