A 32-year-old gang leader who operated illegal marijuana grow houses in Pacoima and Palmdale was sentenced this week to 16 years in federal prison for federal racketeering and narcotics crimes, authorities said.
Mario Alberto Miranda — the lead defendant in a federal grand jury indictment targeting 31 gang members and associates — pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He has been in federal custody since February 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As the shot caller for the San Fernando Valley-based Vineland Boys street gang, Miranda ordered accomplices to attack and assault rival gang members and individuals suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, according to court documents. He sold methamphetamine at a Pacoima residence as well as at a North Hollywood clothing store that he ran, and he maintained and operated illegal marijuana grow houses in Pacoima and Palmdale, federal prosecutors said. At the Pacoima residence, Miranda and an accomplice maintained at least 125 marijuana plants weighing a total of nearly 315 pounds.
Federal prosecutors secured 30 guilty pleas in the case, including 19 convictions that have resulted in prison sentences of at least 10 years. One of them, gang member Jesus Gonzalez Jr., 30, is serving a 31-year federal prison sentence for committing multiple felonies, including the attempted murders of three rival gangsters, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.