jury convicts MS-13 member of assault with deadly weapon and drug trafficking conspiracy | USAO-EDCA


FRESNO, Calif .– A jury has found Lorenzo Amador, 23, of Mendota, guilty of one count of assault with a lethal weapon in aid of racketeering and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess in the intention to distribute marijuana, Acting US Attorney Phillip announced A. Talbert.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Amador was a member of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal street gang that engages in racketeering activities, including murder, kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking. On August 12, 2018, Amador and other MS-13 members kicked, hit and stabbed a rival gang member in the back with a knife, slicing his diaphragm and sending him to the emergency room where he had to have life. life-saving surgery.

After the attack, Amador logged into his Facebook account and used coded language to send word of the attack to his fellow MS-13 members. His message was intercepted by a wiretap on the Facebook account of one of his fellow MS-13 members. In the days following the stabbing, the other members of Amador’s MS-13 called in in frantic efforts to warn Amador that the police might be closing in on him and to try to help him escape Mendota, what he did. The police finally arrested him two months later.

Amador also joined a drug conspiracy, in which he participated by traveling to Los Angeles to help the gang pick up drugs, returning to Mendota with the drugs, and selling it for the gang.

The investigation was conducted by the California Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Office of the Fresno County District Attorney, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (SSU) Special Services Unit. Assistant U.S. prosecutors Ross Pearson, Michael Tierney and Kimberly Sanchez continued the case.

Several of Amador’s co-defendants have been convicted, and others have pleaded guilty and are expected to be sentenced later this year.

Amador is to be sentenced by US District Judge Dale A. Drozd on December 17, 2021. Amador faces a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable statutory factors and federal sentencing guidelines, which take a number of variables into account.

This effort is part of an operation of the Working Groups on Combating Drugs Against Organized Crime (OCDETF). The OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a multi-agency, prosecutor-led, intelligence-led approach. Additional information on the OCDETF program is available at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The case is being prosecuted under the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a wide range of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses its enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with local prevention and reintegration programs for sustainable crime reduction.

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