are increasingly evolving into violent drug enterprises and have aligned
themselves with violent Mexican Drug-Trafficking Organizations (MDTOs) such
as the Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO).
In 1996, a Safe Streets Task Force in the San Diego (SD) Division initiated an
investigation into the Logan Heights street gang. The SD Division identified a
component of this gang as a criminal enterprise gang that was closely aligned with
the AFO, also known as the Tijuana Cartel. The AFO is considered to be one of
the most vicious, ruthless criminal organizations involved in smuggling drugs into
the United States and their subsequent distribution onto American streets. The
AFO has used Logan Heights gang members to murder rival drug traffickers,
protect drug shipments, and conduct other violent enforcement activity all in
furtherance of this criminal enterprise.
In September 1997, following a two-year Safe Streets Task Force violent street
gang investigation, Ramon Arellano-Felix, widely recognized as the head enforcer
of the AFO, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury seated in the Southern District
of California, San Diego, California. Ramon Arellano-Felix was charged with
conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana. Because of the AFO's propensity for
violence, Ramon Arellano-Felix was placed on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted
Fugitive list, in September 1997.
On February 5, 1998, a Federal Grand Jury seated in the Southern District of
California, San Diego, California, returned a true bill indictment against 10
Logan Heights gang members for their involvement with the AFO, and cross
Charged as an overt act in the indictment was the May 24, 1993, murder of
Cardinal Juan Posados-Ocampo, at the Guadalajara Airport. Logan Heights gang
members, acting on the instructions of the AFO were attempting to murder a rival
On May 14, 1998, a Federal Grand Jury in the Southern District of California,
issued a true bill superseding indictment charging additional overt acts
to the above-noted indictment.
The additional overt acts included the July 22, 1996, attack on the Mexican
military in Zapopan, Mexico, which left two soldiers dead; and the September 19,
1996, shootout with the Mexican Army in Culiacan, which Hernan Barron-Carona,
David Barron-Carona's cousin, and Daniel Benitez Mendoza, a Logan Heights
street gang member, were fatally wounded. Three of the above-noted subjects
indicted in this investigation have pled guilty and have been sentenced; two
subjects are presently in custody, two subjects are deceased, and five subjects are
in a fugitive status.