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Operation Snake Eyes results in sentencing in California

An operation called Operation Snake Eyes began on March 12, 2013, and lasted six months in California. It targeted Salinas Valley street gangs and resulted in a major concentrated effort to take apart the leadership organization of the gangs.

The investigation was carried out by the Monterey County Gang Task Force and was centered on Nuestra Familia, a known vicious prison gang, whose pursuits include selling illegal drugs, robbery, extortion and murder. They reportedly control the majority of the Salinas Valley Norteno street gangs, and their base of operations is said to be in the state prison at Pelican Bay.

Two of the men prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office were recently convicted and sentenced. A jury convicted a 47-year-old man from Salinas on Dec. 18 for having conspired to sell methamphetamine as well as committing acts of street terrorism that benefited the Nortenos. At the time of his arrest, he was Northern California's highest-ranking member of Nuestra Familia yet to be in prison. On Feb. 20, he was sentenced to life in prison by a Monterey Superior Court Judge.

On the same day, a second man was also sentenced after entering a guilty plea. The 27-year-old man received a 46-year prison sentence for a string of crimes that were allegedly committed in 2013 and 2014. A total of 21 other Norteno gang members and associates were also convicted of multiple felonies as a result of Operation Snake Eyes.

When individuals are charged with a violent crime, especially when the charges involve an alleged criminal organization, they could be facing substantial prison time. A criminal defense attorney could help by imparting advice regarding their rights and legal options. After an initial consultation, the attorney could then help the accused to build a viable defense or negotiate a plea deal for a lesser sentence when applicable.

Source: KSBW, "2 Salinas gang leaders busted in Operation Snake Eyes sentenced," Feb. 20, 2015

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