BOISE – Alfredo Castro, a/k/a "Papos," 36, was sentenced today to 168 months in federal prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Castro to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $100 special assessment. He pled guilty to the charge on June 7, 2012. He is currently housed in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.
Castro is a leader and founding member of the Brown Magic Clica (BMC) gang, a Sureño street gang with members in the Districts of Idaho and Oregon.
According to the plea agreement, Castro admitted that he conspired to commit racketeering acts, including the solicitation of arson and murder, through conversations he had while incarcerated in IDOC. Castro admitted that BMC rules state that any individual who cooperates as a witness in a criminal investigation against a BMC member is an enemy to BMC. BMC members are to engage in intimidation, including threats and acts of violence, against any cooperating witness.
Castro admitted that in December of 2008, he ordered BMC members to commit the crime of arson on a business in Fruitland, Idaho, where a BMC member had committed a murder. Castro's order to commit the arson was not carried out. Castro further admitted that he commanded BMC members to kill a former member who had testified in a murder trial against a fellow gang member. BMC members later discussed Castro's command in three separate BMC meetings. Castro's command to commit the murder was not carried out.
"Mr. Castro's sentence should send a strong message to all gang members that severe sanctions will be imposed when their conduct crosses the line into criminal activity and violent action," said Olson. "Mr. Castro will spend the next 14 years in federal prison. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Idaho and eastern Oregon will continue to work together to make our communities safe from violent street gangs."
To date, five members of the BMC gang have been sentenced to serve federal prison sentences on related charges: Adam Gomez a/k/a "Lil Toro," of Boise, to 60 months for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; Jessie Rodriguez a/k/a "Pelon," of Ontario, Oregon, to 115 months for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; Salvador Apodoca a/k/a "Bugz," of Pendleton, Oregon, to 60 months for assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering; Samson Torres a/k/a "Gremlin," of Ontario, Oregon, to 70 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; and Mathew Grover, a/k/a "Dreamin," of Fruitland, Idaho, to 51 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Two co-defendants await sentencing: Juan Gonzalez a/k/a "Chango," 27, pled guilty on July 13 to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Sentencing is set for October 1. Amando Garcia, Jr., a/k/a Amando Torres, a/k/a "Toro," 29, pled guilty on August 8 to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Sentencing is set for October 29 in Boise. The conspiracy charge is punishable by up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to five years of supervised release. The attempted murder in aid of racketeering charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Trial for co-defendants Oscar Garcia a/k/a "Bubba," a/k/a "Tiny," Adelaido Gomez a/k/a "Guy," and Juan Jimenez a/k/a "Loco," is set for February 12, 2013.
The federal racketeer influenced corrupt organizations (RICO) law prohibits individuals from participating, or conspiring to participate, in the conduct of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. An enterprise is defined as any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity. Racketeering activity is defined as specified criminal acts, including murder, arson, distribution of controlled substances, and intimidation and retaliation against witnesses.
The investigation, named "Operation Black Magic," included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Ada County Sheriff's Office, the Boise Police Department, the Caldwell Police Department, the Canyon County Sheriff's Office, the Idaho Department of Corrections, the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, the Meridian Police Department, the Nampa Police Department, the Nyssa Police Department, the Ontario Police Department, the Oregon State Police, and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The investigation is ongoing.