A jury found Lorenzo Amador, 23, of Mendota, guilty of one count of assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering and one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Amador was a member of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal street gang that engages in racketeering activity, including murder, kidnapping, extortion, and drug trafficking.
On Aug. 12, 2018, Amador and fellow MS-13 members kicked, hit, and stabbed a member of a rival gang in the back with a knife, slicing his diaphragm and sending him to the emergency room where he had to have life-saving surgery.
After the attack, Amador logged on to his Facebook account and used coded language to send word of the attack to his fellow MS-13 members.
His message was intercepted by a wiretap on the Facebook account of one of his fellow MS-13 members.
In the days following the stabbing, Amador’s fellow MS-13 members called each other in frantic efforts to warn Amador that police might be closing in on him and to try to help him flee Mendota, which he did. Police eventually caught him two months later.
Amador also joined a drug conspiracy, which he participated in by driving to Los Angeles to help the gang pick up drugs, returning to Mendota with the drugs, and selling them for the gang.
Several of Amador’s co-defendants have been sentenced, and others have pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing later this year.
Amador is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Dec. 17, 2021. Amador faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.
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