A second gang member has been sentenced to prison for his role in the 2014 firebombings of black residents at a Boyle Heights housing project.
Edwin “Boogie” Felix, 27, is one of eight gang members of the Big Hazard street gang who prosecutors say participated in a racially motivated attack on Mother’s Day five years ago. The hate crime targeted some of the 23 black families who lived inside the Ramona Gardens development, where Felix also resided.
The Latino gang, which originated in Boyle Heights, claimed the territory as their own. Felix pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to violate the civil rights of those black residents in an attempt to provoke them to flee. He was sentenced Monday to 92 months in federal prison. Six of the other men have also pleaded guilty.
The purported ringleader of the attack, Carlos Hernandez, 34, admitted instructing gang members to use Molotov cocktails in the attack. Hernandez, who was the last defendant to plead guilty in April, said the order came from members of the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang that controls several Latino crews in Southern California.
The men threw explosives inside the homes of four apartments, three of which were occupied by black residents.
“It was a miracle that no one was injured in these racially motivated attacks,” U.S. Atty. Nicola T. Hanna said. “These defendants have admitted their goal was to drive African Americans out of this housing facility. This simply will not be tolerated, and we will take any and all steps necessary to protect the civil rights of every person who lives in the United States.”
The 2014 attack occurred 15 years after the same street gang unleashed a similar attack on black residents in the neighborhood in an effort to push them out. African Americans had started moving back in the years since, but the attack upended that progress for peace.
Jose “Lil’ Moe” Saucedo, 25, was sentenced earlier in June to 13 years in prison for the firebombing attack. Six others will be sentenced later this year, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
City News Service contributed to this report.