55 total alleged gang members face federal crimes, state charges

A total of 55 alleged El Paso Barrio Azteca gang members were recently arrested under accusations of very serious crimes. Several agents from multiple departments worked together in El Paso during the operation. Overall, 20 individuals were accused of committing federal crimes, and the remaining 35 persons face state charges.

The El Paso Police, along with several federal organizations including the FBI and Homeland Security, joined forces to execute the recent raid. The investigation started after allegations surfaced claiming that the gang was collecting a street tax of sorts called a “quota” that was later invested for gang activities. These activities included the support of other gang members who were arrested, the purchase of firearms and the purchase of controlled substances.

The 35 individuals who face state charges are accused of organized crime. The other 20 individuals who face federal charges are accused of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization Act. Some alleged members are also accused of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and others face additional conspiracy to launder money charges. If any person is convicted of the charges that he or she faces, that person could face up to a life imprisonment.

In cases such as this one where multiple people are arrested all at once, it is crucial for those arrested to analyze every detail of their arrest to ensure that proper procedures were followed. Every defendant in Texas — whether they are accused of state or federal crimes — has certain legal rights that should be safeguarded throughout each step of the criminal process. If any of these rights are violated or denied, it will likely have an effect on that person’s case.

Source:, “Multiple El Paso Barrio Azteca members arrested, face numerous charges following joint investigation“, Jesse Martinez and Joshua Zuber, Sept. 17, 2014