Operation Wicked Hand brings down dozens in local gangs

“These are hard-core criminal gang members,” said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean. “They wake up every day and try to decide where to commit crimes that day and victimize people of this county. We will remain vigilant. We can’t become complacent because we live in such a safe area. These gangs are active and involved everywhere. Justice is coming for the many criminals involved in this type of activity that would jeopardize the safety and lives of our families here in Ventura County.”

In the largest criminal indictment in the history of Ventura County, 27 indictments were handed down to local gang members accused of conspiring to commit felony assaults, extortion, home invasion robberies, narcotics trafficking and other organized criminal activity.

It was announced by Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean during a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 27, that a high-ranking member of the Mexican Mafia, or La Eme, was coordinating all of the criminal activity from a prison outside of California for the financial benefit of the Mexican Mafia, a highly organized prison-based gang.

“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 Dean. “It’s really unusual for us to see. Gangs normally opposing each other were going together because the shot-caller was such a high level in the Mexican Mafia they knew they had to comply. “

The indictment alleges that local gangs were receiving orders from Martin “Evil” Madrigal, who is in prison on unrelated charges, and local gang member and Mexican Mafia associate Edwin “Sporty” Mora. Local gangs, who are otherwise deadly rivals, were forced into conspiring to commit organized crime, while also being extorted and taxed on their drug sales by the Mexican Mafia.

Martin “Evil” Madrigal

Edwin “Sporty” Mora


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