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Florencia 13 gang member sentenced in racketeering and narcotics case

February 4, 2010 |  4:11 pm

A federal judge sentenced a fifth member of the Florencia 13 street gang this week to life in prison for his conviction on a host of criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution case, the U.S. Attorney's Office said today.

Francisco Flores, 24, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana after his conviction last year on charges of conspiring to commit murder and attempted murder and violent crime in aid of racketeering. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Flores "preyed on victims because they were black and for no other reason but racial motive," U.S. Judge District Judge David O. Carter said during sentencing.

Also Wednesday, another Florencia 13 defendant, Jose Gonzalez, 36, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his conviction on racketeering and drug trafficking charges. 

Instead of specifically targeting rival gang members, the Florencia 13 gang members had a policy of targeting African Americans, prosecutors said.

“The unique and more disturbing aspect of this case was the rampant and violent racial hatred against African Americans that this gang had,” said Asst. U.S. Atty. Peter A. Hernandez.

One young man in his twenties was killed while returning home from his job as a painter, while another couple was robbed apparently because they were black.

“I’ve dealt with the Mexican Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood now, soon to be the Mongols, but you really take first place,” Judge Carter said Friday during the sentencing of another Florencia 13 defendant, Arturo Cruz, 34.

Flores and Gonzalez were among 104 defendants named in six indictments handed down by a federal grand jury in 2007 against the Florencia 13 gang. Ninety-four of the defendants have been convicted, three are pending trial, two have died, and five are fugitives from the law.

--Amina Khan