Home San Diego Press Releases 2013 Mexican Mafia Affiliate Sentenced in RICO Conspiracy

Mexican Mafia Affiliate Sentenced in RICO Conspiracy
Charges Related to Defendant’s Drug Trafficking Organization

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 15, 2013
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Silvano Hernandez, Jr., a Mexican Mafia associate from San Diego, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia to serve 210 months (17.5 years) in custody after Hernandez pled guilty to conspiracy to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise (RICO conspiracy), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962. Hernandez was one of 36 individuals arrested last year as part of Operation Carnalismo, an investigation that targeted the Mexican Mafia’s organized criminal activity. Operation Carnalismo was one of three similar investigations charged at the same time that focused on Mexican Mafia crime, which resulted in well over 100 arrests of local gang members and associates in January 2012.

Court filings described the Mexican Mafia as a notorious, violent prison gang that controls and benefits from a large portion of the criminal activity committed by Southern California Hispanic street-gang members. The Mexican Mafia and its associates engage in a variety of crime in order to maintain their presence in the criminal world, including murder, assault, kidnapping, extortion. Drug trafficking is the Mexican Mafia’s largest source of revenue.

As part of his plea, Hernandez admitted to participating in the organized criminal activity of the Mexican Mafia. Specifically, he admitted to distributing, on average, 30-40 pounds of methamphetamine per month in San Diego. Hernandez stated that he distributed anywhere from 1/4-pound to multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine to a number of drug dealers who, in turn, sold the methamphetamine in smaller quantities. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter J. Mazza, the lead prosecutor on the case, told Judge Battaglia at today’s sentencing hearing that the 30-40 pounds of methamphetamine Hernandez distributed onto the streets of San Diego every month roughly equated to well over 50,000 doses of methamphetamine per month. At the time of his arrest, investigators seized nearly $150,000 in cash from his residence and a 2011 Lincoln sedan valued at approximately $50,000.

United States Attorney Duffy praised the members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Violent Crimes-Gang Group (AVCTF-GG), which led this investigation, for their continued, outstanding work in pursuit of Mexican Mafia crime. The VCTF-GG is a federal task force composed of investigators from the FBI; Bureau of Prisons; and the San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City Police Departments.

Defendant in Criminal Case No. 12CR290-AJB
Silvano Hernandez, Jr.
Age: 40

Progress of Cases Charged as Part of Operation Carnalismo

Summary: As of March 15, 2013, 30 of 36 defendants have been convicted, and 14 of those 30 have been sentenced.

12CR290-AJB Convictions

Salvadore Colabella—RICO conspiracy
Jose Luis Mercado—RICO conspiracy
Robert Mercado—Violent Crime in aid of racketeering (168 months in custody)
Maria de Jesus Claudia Ochoa—RICO conspiracy
Silvano Hernandez—RICO conspiracy
Jose Briseno-Contreras—RICO conspiracy (46 months in custody)


Ramon Agredano—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (84 months in custody)
Ricardo Cornejo—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (135 months in custody)
David York—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Guillermo Chaidez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)
Adrian Dominguez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Charles Smith—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Anna Sheneman—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (93 months in custody)
Esteban Rodriguez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (60 months in custody)


Juan Guerrero—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (135 months in custody)
Jorge Moreno—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Eduardo Moreno—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)
Allen Mundell—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Brett Youkel—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)
Lacy McElroy—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (100 months in custody)


Alfredo Bazurto—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Charles Monroe—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Jose Pedro Covarrubias—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)
George Chavez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Jose Esparza—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine John Atkinson—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (120 months in custody)
Annabel Vasquez—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
Fantaja Deleal—Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (78 months in custody)


Carlos Lozano—Distribution of methamphetamine (57 months in custody)

Investigating Agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Chula Vista Police Department
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
National City Police Department
San Diego Police Department
San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
U.S. Bureau of Prisons
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
San Diego County Probation Department
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations
Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations

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