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3 in Vineland Boys gang receive terms

first_imgThree more members of the Vineland Boys – including its “enforcer” – were sentenced Tuesday in the federal racketeering case against the notorious street gang linked to drug dealing and the shooting death of a Burbank police officer. During the sentencing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Francisco Zambrano, 27, of Mission Hills received 40 years in federal prison after Judge John F. Walter called him “one of the most violent individuals who has ever appeared in this court.” Zambrano was convicted of the attempted murder of Bryan Guerra, a Marine whom the defendant felt acted disrespectfully to him at a party, among other crimes. “He markets himself as the enforcer for the Vineland Boys gang,” the judge said. “He is a cold-blooded killer.” Prosecutors said the Vineland Boys trafficked in cocaine, meth and marijuana in L.A., Hawaii, Indiana and the East Coast. The group also is linked to four homicides, including the slaying of rookie Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka, who was killed in a shootout with alleged Vineland Boys member David Garcia, who is awaiting trial on murder charges. City News Service contributed to this report. [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sergio Mejia, 39, of Bakersfield, whose conviction in the case was a third strike, received a life term in federal prison. Jose Mejia, 37, of Bakersfield received 27 years. In total, seven of the nine defendants have been sentenced since their convictions in October on violations of the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, drug trafficking and other charges. Two others, including lead defendant Rafael Yepiz, 35, of Reseda, are set to be sentenced Feb. 26. Yepiz faces a mandatory life sentence after his conviction on RICO and other charges. On Monday, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Jesus Contreras and Mariano Meza to 25 years, and Manuel Yepiz to 20 years in federal prison. The nine were among 49 defendants named in the federal indictment against alleged members and associates of the Sun Valley-based gang authorities said terrorized parts of Burbank, North Hollywood and Palmdale for more than a decade. last_img read more

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