Suspected Mexican Mafia 'soldiers' charged in series of violent attacks at L.A. County jail

Fourteen people, including 12 Los Angeles County jail inmates, have been charged in connection with a series of violent prisoner assaults orchestrated by the Mexican Mafia, authorities announced Friday.

Members of the notorious prison gang directed associates in the county jail to assault or kill other inmates who they suspected had violated the organization’s rules, according to an FBI statement.

Known as “soldiers” or “sureños,” gang associates carried out the attacks, including the brutal assault on a person who owed money to the organization, federal authorities said.

In one instance, a Mexican Mafia associate ordered the killing of a person who was working with law enforcement officials, the FBI said. The person was stabbed several times in the head and upper torso.

Members of the FBI’s San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force have been investigating the jail attacks since July 2016. Authorities monitored phone calls detailing the planned assaults of certain inmates.

In two instances, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were able to move the targeted inmates into protective custody before the planned attacks.

Twelve men who are currently incarcerated have been charged in the case, the FBI said. They are: Daniel Ramos, 31; Miguel Garcia, 33; James Piano, 41; Victor Hernandez, 40; Willam Membreno, 30; Eyreick Arballo, 33; Edgardo Moreno, 40; Miguel Arciniega, 20; Sergio Chavez, 20; Jose Salazar, 28; Greg Gonzalez, 30; and Rene Arana, 31.

On Thursday, federal authorities arrested Jose De Jesus Rivera, 33, of Compton, and Daniel Bustamante, 29, of Long Beach. They also are facing charges.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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