A high-ranking member of the northeast L.A.-based Avenues gang was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for murdering one man and ordering the killing of another, federal prosecutors said.
[For the record, 5:32 p.m. PDT Oct. 21: A previous version of this post identified the Avenues gang as being from northwest Los Angeles. The gang operates in Northeast L.A.]
U.S. District Judge George H. Wu sentenced Rudy Aguirre Jr., also known as "Lil Psycho," after Aguirre pleaded guilty to his role in the deaths, the U.S. attorney's office announced.
Prosecutors described the 32-year-old as a "high-ranking associate of the Mexican Mafia with strong family ties to the prison gang." Aguirre was authorized by the Mexican Mafia to "control the activities of the Avenues street gang on the street," they added.
Officials said Aguirre went to California prisons to get instructions from the Mexican Mafia, which he would relay to the Avenues. He also determined who within the Avenues territory would pay "taxes" to the street gang, which would then be given to the Mexican Mafia, prosecutors added.
Aguirre was charged with murder in connection with the 1999 death of a rival gang member in northeast Los Angeles, but the charges were dismissed because of pre-trial rulings. He was later charged with the murder under a federal racketeering case and pleaded guilty in July.
He also admitted authorizing a 2008 slaying of an Avenues member who was thought to be taking from the taxes collected by the gang, prosecutors said.
Aguirre was arrested in a massive 2009 raid centered on Glassell Park and other areas of northeast Los Angeles. Forty-four arrests were made in the multi-agency raid, the culmination of a yearlong investigation into the Avenues that began after Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Juan Abel Escalante was gunned down outside his parents' Cypress Park home.
Prosecutors said Aguirre was one of the last of 88 defendants to be sentenced under the racketeering indictment from 2009.