Three members of the Nuestra Familia gang were sentenced recently to prison for a variety of offenses in Stanislaus County, including orchestrating a home invasion robbery in Turlock.
On May 2 a federal court judge sentenced Joe Anthony Felix, 36, of Modesto, to 12 years and seven months in prison for conspiring to engage in racketeering and sentenced him to an additional, consecutive term of nine months in prison for a supervised release violation on a 2004 case. Jesus Gomez Felix, 32, of Modesto, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering. On April 11, Gary Anthony Romero, 50, of Stockton, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to engage in racketeering.
The Department of Justice said Romero has been a member of Nuestra Familia for approximately 20 years and had reached a high level of authority in the criminal enterprise, and as such had ordered various crimes to be committed for the benefit of the gang in Stanislaus County. Romero ordered a home invasion robbery in Turlock in which the robbers wielded firearms and made off with a vehicle and several other items. He also ordered aggravated assaults, robberies and drug deals, according to the DOJ.
While Romero was in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail, he ordered the "removal" of several Nortenos who had violated Nuestra Familia rules. A "removal" involved assaulting the individuals with homemade weapons, as well as fists and feet. Several of the victims suffered stab wounds. Romero also directed a gang member to set up subsets of the gang throughout Stanislaus County to collect money from the members, including proceeds of their drug trafficking activities, and to put the funds in Romero's account at Stanislaus County Jail.
Joe Felix was part of the Norteno criminal street gang, which operates under the Nuestra Familia. According to the DOJ, Joe Felix provided direction to other Nortenos to commit various crimes, including attempted murder and drug trafficking in Modesto. Joe Felix participated and directed others to participate in an assault on two individuals who had dropped out of the gang. The DOJ said Jesus Felix participated in this assault and exchanged gunfire with someone from the opposing side during the attack. No one was shot, but as a result of the attack, one of the victims suffered a fractured orbital bone and injury to his eye. Joe Felix also directed the sales of methamphetamine by other Nortenos, and profited from the drug trafficking operation.
All three of the men were taken into custody on March 20, 2013, during a gang sweep in Ceres, Modesto and Turlock that resulted in a total of 14 men arrested on various charges related to the gang activity of Nuestra Familia and the Nortenos.
Prior to the gang sweep, Romero and Joe Felix were named in a federal grand jury indictment that charged them and others with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and various other drug trafficking offenses.
"I would like to thank the United States Department of Justice and the hard work of the federal prosecutors who prosecuted this case," said Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager. "We will remain committed to working collaboratively with our federal partners to pursue criminal gang members who commit violent crimes and pose a threat to the citizens of Stanislaus County."
This case was the product of an investigation by the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force under the FBI's Safe Streets Initiative, with the assistance of the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office, the Modesto Police Department, the Ceres Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Stanislaus County Probation Department.