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Soledad gang member sentenced to federal prison for part in “removal” stabbings inside Monterey County Jail

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE Dec. 15, 2022, at 4:45 p.m.- A man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after being convicted for multiple conspiracies involving gang violence in the Monterey County Jail, according to United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp.

Jorge Jasso, 30, of Soledad, was the last of 15 gang members to be sentenced for a wide range of criminal conspiracies involving violence and drug trafficking, per the Department of Justice.

Jasso was found guilty of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, engaging in a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and engaging in a conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.

Evidence showed that Jasso played a part in at least three jail "removals" of ex-fellow gang members in Monterey County Jail. According to the DOJ, one of the victims was stabbed over 20 times.

Salinas gang member sentenced to federal prison for approving"removal" stabbings inside Monterey County Jail

UPDATE Nov. 1, 2022, at 3:21 p.m.- A Monterey County gang member was sentenced in federal court for approving several gang "removals" inside the Monterey County Jail.

Vincent Gerald Garcia, 55, of Salinas, was sentenced to 306 months in federal prison for engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, engaging in a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and engaging in a conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, according to federal court documents.

During a court trial, it was determined that from Dec. 2012 through April 2014, Garciahedl the position of Regiment Commander for his gang in jail and controlled the criminal activities of gang inmates at the Monterey County Jail.  Garcia was responsible and okayed the removal of at least 10 people inside the jail, allege court documents.

"Additional trial evidence demonstrated that the sale of controlled substances both inside custodial facilities and on the street was a central income producer for the gang," said the court documents.  "Evidence showed that members smuggled controlled substances into Monterey County Jail as well as other jails and sold the “hard” drugs to the inmates, while any smuggled marijuana was distributed only to fellow gang members."

Garcia was in custody at the time of his sentencing hearing and will serve his sentence immediately.

Below are the names of the 15 inmates being charged in this "removal" case:

Johnny Magdaleno18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy 360 months imprisonment
Vincent Gerald Garcia18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) - Racketeering Conspiracy 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5) - Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering             
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) - Conspiracy to Commit Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering
306 months imprisonment
Rodney Luis Romero  18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy216 months imprisonment
Ramon Montoya18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy120 months imprisonment
Michael James Rice18 U.S.C. § 962(d) - Racketeering Conspiracy156 months imprisonment
Alberto Cervantes18 U.S.C. § 962(d) - Racketeering Conspiracy 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5) - Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering                           
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) - Conspiracy to Commit Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering
Custodial time already served, plus five years of supervised release with 730 days on home confinement
Alejo Alex Alegre, IV18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy120 months imprisonment
Carlos Cervantes18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy120 months imprisonment
Alberto Moreno18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy84 months imprisonment
Steven Anthony Dorado18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy84 months imprisonment
Michael Abraham Cazares18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) - Racketeering Conspiracy 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5) - Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering                           
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) - Conspiracy to Commit Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering
96 months imprisonment
Jeffrey Lopez18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy84 months imprisonment
Juan Alvarez18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy120 months imprisonment
Erik Lopez18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) – Racketeering Conspiracy120 months imprisonment
Jorge Jasso18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) - Racketeering Conspiracy 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5) - Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering                          
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) - Conspiracy to Commit Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

Salinas and Soledad gang members found guilty of "removal" stabbings in Monterey County Jail

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KION-TV)-- Two Monterey County gang members were found guilty of engaging in multiple conspiracies involving gang membership and gang violence inside Monterey County Jail, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan.

Vincent Gerald Garcia, 55, of Salinas, and Jorge Jasso, 29, of Soledad, are two of 13 co-defendants charged with these crimes. They are the last two defendants pending in the case, said federal court documents.

According to court documents, the "removals" were believed to have happened between May 2012 to September 2013.

Garcia and Jasso faced three charges: engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, engaging in a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and engaging in a conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. The jury convicted the pair on all counts Tuesday, according to the documents.

They were both members of a jail gang and were expected to follow the structure and rules set up for the gang. This includes the "removal" of members that committed a severe violation of gang rules, according to evidence presented during the trial.

"A removal was orchestrated by Norteño gang members and involved an organized attack upon the target, first by at least one 'hitter' stabbing the target and followed immediately by a beating without weapons by at least two 'bombers,'" said the court documents. "The beating inflicted maximum damage to the victim and caused a distraction that allowed time for the hitters to hide weapons and wash off."

Three removals happened during the recreation period in the jail's main yard. Court documents said that Garcia was in charge of approving the removals, and Jasso participated in them.

Both Jasso and Garcia face a maximum of life in prison in their sentencing hearings on August 30. According to the documents, for each conviction, they face a maximum fine of $250,000.

"Other evidence demonstrated that the sale of controlled substances both inside custodial facilities and on the street was a central income producer for the gang," according to the court documents. "Members smuggled controlled substances into Monterey County Jail as well as other jails and sold the 'hard' drugs to other inmates but distributed marijuana solely to fellow members in custody." 

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