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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

23 Charged in Mexican Mafia Controlled Los Angeles MS-13 Meth Trafficking Network

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Federal and local law enforcement officials announced the unsealing of a federal grand jury indictment charging 23 members and associates of the Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) transnational street gang who allegedly trafficked pound quantities of methamphetamine and illegally possessed ammunition found in a “ghost gun.”

“MS-13 members, allegedly at the direction of an incarcerated Mexican Mafia member, were able to wreak havoc on communities in Los Angeles,” said Donald Alway, the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. 

The unindicted Mexican Mafia member/MS-13 leader is Raymond "Cisco" Martinez currently incarcerated for life without parole for murder in California. In July, he and another Mexican Mafia member murdered a longtime La eMe leader in prison.

“This case is just the latest joint operation targeting MS-13’s transnational criminal enterprise as we continue to make an impact on their ability to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens in and around Los Angeles.”

As part of the takedown, law enforcement seized multiple pounds of suspected methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine. Authorities this morning also seized 9 firearms and approximately $94,000 in cash – with about $50,000 seized from one residence.

The takedown resulted in the arrests of 17 MS-13 members and associates who are expected to be arraigned on the 36-count indictment this afternoon in the United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles. Four of the federal defendants were already in state custody, and authorities continue to search for two defendants named in the indictment.
  • Riquelmy Abarca, also known as "Bago"
  • Agustin Aquino, also known as "Chino"
  • Juan Arroniz, also known as "Tiny"
  • Herlyn Barrientos, also known as "Doctorazo"
  • Maria Chavez, also known as Moana
  • Bryon Chinchilla, also known as "Psycho"
  • Clider Godinez, also known as Jicli"
  • Eder Gomez, also known as "Huero"
  • Amilcar Gonzalez, also known as "Lunatico"
  • Eli Grijalva, also known as “Skinny"
  • Marco Hernandez, also known as "Clandestino"
  • Pavel Hurtado, also known as "Tempter"
  • Carlos Jaco, also known as "Clavo"
  • Elmer Linares, also known as "Macabro"
  • Anderson Mendoza, also known as "Cypher"
  • Orlando Olivar "Tacuba"
  • Jose Arredondo, also known as "Misterio"
  • Jose Reyes, also known as "Husky"
  • Cesar Saravia, also known as "Sleepy"
  • Douglas Torres, also known as "Midnight"
  • Carlos Torres, also known as "Malaspecto"
  • Pedro Valladares, also known as "Psycho"
  • Christopher Martir, also known as "Insolente"

The incarcerated MS-13/Mexican Mafia member leading the trafficking network was not charged in the indictment.

Ray "Cisco" Martinez

Ray Martinez, also known as "Cisco," is a Mexican Mafia member. He began his life sentence, without the possibility of parole in 1996. He was imprisoned for first-degree murder and second-degree robbery, with enhancements for the use of a firearm. He was a member of MS-13 before becoming a member of the Mexican Mafia. 

While incarcerated, on June 11, 2021, he was sentenced to another 22 years for assault by a prisoner with a weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury and possession or manufacturing of a weapon by a prisoner as a second striker. He also received an enhancement for having a prior felony conviction. 
He was recently named as a suspect in the stabbing death of long-time Mexican Mafia leader, responsible for the LA County Jail systems Michael "Mosca" Torres in July of this year.

“MS-13, one of the largest and most violent gangs in North America, perpetuates a cycle of violence and destruction, the victims of which are most often immigrants from Central America and Mexico and other Latinos,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “The widespread methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy we have charged reveals that drug trafficking is the primary method MS-13 uses to finance its modus operandi of murder and mayhem.” This case focuses on MS-13 in Los Angeles and its efforts to traffic methamphetamine in their “territory.” 

An imprisoned MS-13 member, who also was a member of the Mexican Mafia, controlled MS-13 Los Angeles by imposing a rule on all the gang’s Los Angeles-area cliques that required them to buy methamphetamine from Herlyn “Doctorazo” Barrientos, of Huntington Park, and others. Once the various cliques redistributed the methamphetamine, some profits from that distribution flowed to the imprisoned MS-13/La eMe member.

MS-13 Los Angeles Shot Callers

During the period of July 2021 to August 2023, the MS-13 inmate "Cisco" allegedly first designated Pavel “Temper” Hurtado of Oxnard, and, later, Eli “Skinny” Grijalva, of South Los Angeles, to be the overall shot caller for MS-13 Los Angeles.

In this role, Hurtado and Grijalva, the indictment’s top two defendants, allegedly oversaw MS-13’s drug trafficking activities and communicated with the MS-13 inmate to coordinate drug trafficking activities for the gang.

Each MS-13 member and associate, along with wholesale narcotics suppliers and street drug dealers, would receive authorization from the shot callers to sell drugs within individual clique territories, and in return, would be required to pay a portion of the drug proceeds, known as a “tax,” to his or her respective MS-13 shot caller for the areas in which narcotics were trafficked.

MS-13 members used violence and intimidation to control narcotics trafficking in territories controlled by the gang and narcotics sales comprised most of the revenue generated by MS-13. To sell narcotics within MS-13’s territory, one must either be an MS-13 member, an associate or otherwise have permission from – and pay extortionate rent payments to – MS-13.

Agustín “Chino” Aquino-Martínez of Lancaster, allegedly acted as treasurer for MS-13 Los Angeles, coordinated the collection of the drug proceeds and “taxes” from each MS-13 Los Angeles clique, and was responsible for forwarding those profits and taxes to "Cisco".

The indictment charges all 23 defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine. 34 of the indictment’s 36 counts charge individual MS-13 members and associates – including Hurtado, Grijalva, and Barrientos – with distribution of methamphetamine. One of the indictment’s counts accuses an individual gang member of being a felon unlawfully possessing ammunition inside a “ghost gun.”


  1. That's not a lot of weight or cash for an operation charging 23 gangstas.

  2. I hope they have been paying their taxes otherwise Mexican Mafia will green light their ass.

    1. “I hope” lmao…

      are these guys your friends or something??

  3. El mencho quiere alianza con el mayo 😂😂😂

  4. Ahhh, Insolente… getting sophisticated eh??

    1. Yeah these Guanacos/Huanacos/bichos have some different apodos and names.

  5. So, the entire MS13 gang in LA is now behind bars. Good riddance.

  6. They will all be kings in prison and have everything anyone could ever need. You don't understand what prison is like. I had a phone, smoked weed every morning, smoked cigs daily, could do meth or H at anytime Even subs to get off it. Our prison system is a joke.

    1. Your an idiot if u think that's a good life


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