East Side Bloods Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy, Attempted Murder, and Firearms Charges
WASHINGTON—An East Side Bloods (ESB) gang member from Scottsdale, Arizona, was sentenced late yesterday to serve 30 years in prison for his role in the violent street gang, which operated on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community reservation.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo of the District of Arizona made the announcement after the sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona.
Denicio Elrayno Francisco, 28, a long-time member of East Side Bloods, was convicted by a jury on Oct. 31, 2013, of conspiracy to participate in a pattern of racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to evidence presented at trial, from August 2004 through January 2013, the ESB was a criminal street gang, which perpetuated itself and enriched its members through activities such as murder, robbery, aggravated assault, fraudulent “straw” purchases of firearms and the distribution of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. The gang preserved and protected its power on the reservation and adjoining communities through the use of intimidation, violence, assault, drive-by shootings and murder. The gang also retaliated with violence and threats of violence against victims who contacted law enforcement to report the gang-related crimes.
Evidence at trial demonstrated that Francisco arranged a meeting with a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, ostensibly to discuss some gang-related conflicts on the reservation. On Nov. 23, 2012, Francisco arrived at the meeting with two other armed ESB members wearing gang colors. He stepped out of his car, yelled a gang slogan and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle toward the intended victim. Those present with the intended victim included a five-month-old baby, the wheelchair-bound homeowner, and seven other adults. The intended victim was struck by a bullet in the left forearm, resulting in permanent injury. Testimony at trial also showed that Francisco committed the attempted murder to maintain his position and increase his status within the ESB.
In addition to the prison term imposed, Francisco was also sentenced to serve five years of supervised release.
The defendant’s brother, Martinez Francisco Jr., 31, was also convicted at the same trial and was sentenced on Feb. 10, 2014, to serve 30 years in prison for participating in a racketeering conspiracy and illegal firearms trafficking. Eight additional gang members who entered guilty pleas in the case were previously sentenced to terms ranging from 27 to 156 months in federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM), the Mesa Police Department, the Salt River Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Substantial assistance was provided by the FBI, Scottsdale Police Department and Tempe Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Hans Miller of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith E. Vercauteren of the District of Arizona.