By George Bao Sept. 9, 2016
LOS ANGELES – Three lead defendants in the largest racketeering case currently pending in Los Angeles have now pleaded guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Tyrine Martinez, also known as “Lil’ C-Bone,” 36, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit murder, conspiring to traffic crack cocaine, illegally possessing a firearm and selling crack cocaine near schools.
As a result of guilty pleas before United States District Judge S. James Otero, Martinez faces a potential life sentence and a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in federal prison.
Martinez was among 72 charged in a RICO indictment that targeted BGC, a street gang that claims territory in South Los Angeles and controls drug sales in an area just west of the “Skid Row” district of Los Angeles.
The indictment outlined two decades of criminal conduct, including murders, robberies, extortion, illegal firearms possession, witness intimidation and narcotics trafficking.
Over the past several weeks, two other key defendants named in a 213-page RICO indictment have pleaded guilty. Tracy Harris, aka “Woody,” 51, of Inglewood, pleaded guilty on August 5 to racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to sell methamphetamine after having been convicted of a prior drug felony, and selling methamphetamine near schools.
On July 27, Roosevelt Sumpter, aka “TuTu,” 43, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, illegally possessing a firearm, and selling crack cocaine near schools.
Harris and Sumpter also face potential life sentences and mandatory minimum sentences of 13 and 15 years, respectively.
In addition to the admissions, all three defendants agreed to be banned from living in the BGC territory after they are released from prison and to be subject to expansive search conditions.
Martinez and Harris are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Otero on December 19. Sumpter is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7.
“These defendants have now pled guilty to orchestrating a campaign of violence and drug trafficking, bringing danger to the local community and to schools,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker.
“In addition to committing many acts of violence, this gang preyed upon the marginalized residents of Skid Row with illegal drug sales. Cases like this one targeting the leadership and membership of criminal street gangs show my office’s dedication to ridding neighborhoods of gang activity through partnerships with federal and local law enforcement agencies.”
Seventy-one of the defendants named in the indictment have now appeared in federal court to face charges in the indictment (the final defendant is in state custody), which include conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), violent crimes in aid of racketeering, a series of robberies that targeted bank customers, weapons offenses, and various drug trafficking charges. Six other top defendants in the case are scheduled to go on trial January 3.