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Pay Your Street Tax: Texas Mexican Mafia member sentenced to 35 years in prison for taxing drug dealers

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

Texas Mexican Mafia member Robert Eugene “Gino” Hernandez was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on Wednesday for his role in a conspiracy to extort money from drug traffickers operating in their territory without permission.

A federal jury convicted 51-year-old Hernandez on July 2, 2019, of extortion, gun crimes, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. According to court records, Hernandez, a San Antonio Eastside Lieutenant in the Texas Mexican Mafia, carried out his duties under the direction of Raul Ramos, Texas Mexican Mafia Free World General based in San Antonio.  

Pay your street tax

The Texas Mexican Mafia leadership controls and directs collection of the drug tax. All members who participate in the collection of the tax, and the leaders who direct them, enforce the rule that drug dealers are not permitted to sell drugs without paying the tax. Dealers have no choice; payment of the tax is mandatory and this rule is enforced through violence.

Once a drug dealer is identified, this information is passed up to the leadership. The leadership will make an effort to confirm this information, usually through a purchase from the drug dealer. If the information is confirmed, Texas Mexican Mafia soldiers are instructed to visit the drug dealer. If the dealer denies dealing in the gang’s territory without permission he is ordered to pay more. If the dealer refuses, he usually is robbed and beaten immediately.

“Door kick”

If the first visit does not convince the dealer to comply, the second visit will be a “door kick.” The front door is kicked in, armed gang members storm the home, all occupants are beaten and sometimes tied up, and anything of value is taken such as narcotics, jewelry, electronics, guns, and automobiles. After a “door kick,” all dealers begin paying the tax.

This prosecution has resulted in 37 convictions of members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia; 27 of which have resulted in sentences ranging from 63 months to life in federal prison. Ten defendants are awaiting sentencing.

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