South L.A. gang leader is sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison

A leader of a South Los Angeles gang that has terrorized the community with murders, robberies, extortion and drug trafficking was sentenced Monday to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison, officials said.

Tyrine “Lil’ C-Bone” Martinez, 36, pleaded guilty last year to several felony charges, including racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder, illegally possessing a firearm and selling crack cocaine, according the U.S. attorney’s office.

He was among 72 defendants charged in an indictment targeting the Broadway Gangster Crips.

In his plea agreement, Martinez admitted to being a leader of the violent hit squad known as the Gremlin Riderz, a clique of the Broadway gang, pushing subordinates to engage in violence and disciplining those who did not follow gang rules.

He also admitted to conspiring to kill Andre Griffin, a fellow Broadway gang member who had spoken to police about a 2012 shooting that killed an innocent teenager and struck three others, including a 10-year-old girl and her mother.

“As a leader of the Gremlin Riderz,” officials wrote in Martinez’s sentencing memo, the “defendant served as the prototype of why and how gangs destroy communities (most often their own) through violence, intimidation, fueling crack cocaine addiction and by contriving a self-serving and morally corrupt ‘code.’”

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero also ordered Martinez, whose criminal career began with a robbery at age 16, to spend 10 years on supervised release after serving his sentence.

esmeralda.bermudez@latimes.com

@LATBermudez

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