WACO (October 5, 2012)--A California gang member pleaded guilty Thursday in Waco's federal court to conspiring with several others to possess and distribute methamphetamine in the Central Texas area.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., set sentencing for Johnny Siqueiros for Nov. 28 at 1 p.m.
In a federal court document, investigators identified Siqueiros as a member of the Gardena 13 gang, based in Los Angeles, Calif., which was being investigated for several types of gang activity, including murders.
The investigation, which began in June 2009, quickly led to a parallel investigation into drug activity.
Siqueiros was identified as one of the gang members that participated in the drug sales ring that was trafficking drugs into Central Texas for sale.
A series of wiretaps initiated by federal agents into the murders also netted several conversations about drug sales.
Prosecutors said in a court document that once the upper level gang members collected money from drug distributions, proceeds were then allocated to members of the Gardena 13, depending on their status in the gang.
The document states since December 2009, investigators have intercepted thousands of phone calls where Gardena 13 members have been engaged in the distribution of narcotics.
The conversations centered on the transportation of methamphetamine and the payment for the drugs between California and Central Texas.
Police discovered approximately 14 pounds of methamphetamine inside a hidden compartment of a Toyota Avalon that was headed from California to Texas.
In May 2010 officers discovered about 5 pounds of methamphetamine and $12,000 in cash in a hidden compartment in a Toyota FJ Cruiser that also was bound for Texas.
Several members of the gang already have been sentenced in the Waco court and are serving federal prison sentences.