SANTA ANA (CNS) - Nearly 100 alleged gang members have been indicted in what law enforcement officials are calling a devastating blow to local gangs and leaders of the notorious Mexican Mafia, it was reported Wednesday.
Among those named in one of several indictments unsealed Wednesday was Peter Ojeda, a Santa Ana native indicted in 2005 and currently in federal prison, the Orange County register reported.
Despite his incarceration, Ojeda is accused of continuing to hold a grip in Orange County's Latino street gangs, ordering punishment on local gangs that refused to follow his commands and giving the "green light'' on rivals who tried to take his place as the leader of the Mexican Mafia in Orange County, according to the newspaper.
Also named in the indictments is Armando Moreno, who according to prosecutors, maintained control of Orange County jails on behalf of the Mexican Mafia until April 2009. Then in the summer of 2009, a rift exploded between Moreno and Ojeda, with each claiming control of Orange County, the Register reported.
Through 2009, federal officials allege Moreno and Ojeda ordered each other's supporters killed as they attempted to gain control of county gangs over each other. A rift grew in the organization as the two fought for control, resulting in several messages that were relayed to Orange County jails, ordering the killings of inmates in the jails, according to The Register.
Though no killings occurred in the jail, at least five supporters of Ojeda were assaulted under the orders of Moreno, authorities told the Register.
Ojeda also allegedly ordered the assault of two inmates and members of the Mexican Mafia, Jaime Torres and Jason Baez, after they granted interviews to MSNBC's "Lockup'' series because it violated the organization's code of silence.
Ojeda remains in custody at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and Moreno is in custody in Tehachapi State Prison, but attacks under their command continued to be carried out in the streets and jails of Orange County, authorities said, according to the register.
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