A high-ranking gangster with links to the Mexican Mafia was found guilty of a federal drug charge last week. 36-year-old Armando “Criminal” Molina was part of the Oxnard-based Surtown Chiques street gang and attempted to secure control of drug trafficking in Ventura County and extorted “taxes” on behalf of the Mexican Mafia from other dealers.
Molina was arrested in 2013 as part of Operation “SuperNova,” a multi-agency task force investigation that targeted Mexican Mafia-affiliated street gangs in Ventura County. According to evidence presented at a four-day trial, between October 2012 and March 2013, Molina and his co-conspirators sold 247 grams of pure methamphetamine to a confidential informant working for an FBI task force.
He was arrested in 2013 on a criminal complaint targeting “shot callers” of Ventura County street gangs. The criminal complaint details a year-long undercover investigation and outlines a series of narcotics transactions that led to the seizure of more than two pounds of methamphetamine and quantities of heroin that were being sold on the streets of Ventura County.
The drugs were supplied by a drug trafficking organization controlled by Mexican Mafia member Martin Madrigal-Cazares. Local street gangs communicated with the head of the organization in Mexico, while controlling narcotics sales and collecting “taxes” on behalf of the Mexican Mafia in Ventura County, the complaint alleges.
Molina will be sentenced on February 6, 2020, and face a statutory maximum sentence of life and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
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