Two members of Big Hazard pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges for firebombing the homes of black residents at the Ramona Gardens housing project in 2014,in an effort to drive them out of the Latino gang’s territory.
City News Service reported that José “Lil Moe” Saucedo, 24, and Josué “Malo” Garibay, 25, entered their pleas in downtown Los Angeles before a federal judge who set a sentencing date of Oct. 29.
In April, prosecutors in the case announced that Saucedo and two other Big Hazard members had confessed to their participation in the 2014 Mother’s Day firebombing attacks and entered a plea agreement. The other two, Edwin “Boogie” Félix, 26, and Jonathan “Pelón” Portillo, 23, had pleaded guilty on May 6.
A total of eight men were accused of what prosecutors said was a racially-motivated attack detailed in a 25-page indictment unsealed in 2016. The U.S. attorney’s office says each defendant faces the potential of decades in prison.
Details of a plea agreement with Garibay have not been reported, but in April prosecutors sad that they would seek some leniency in sentencing for Saucedo, Félix and Portillo.
Another three of the accused –Francisco “Bones” Farías, 27, Joel Matthew “Gallo” Monárrez, 23, and José “Fresco” Zamora, 28 – had previously pleaded guilty to carrying out the bombings, but details of their plea were not been disclosed.
The only one of the accused to maintain his innocence is the alleged gang leader Carlos “Rider” Hernández, 31, who goes to trial in July.
According to the indictment, the attack was discussed at a meeting early in May 2014, where Hernández told the other Big Hazard members that they would use Molotov cocktails to attack some of the Ramona Gardens apartments where black families lived. Hernández allegedly said the attack had been ordered by the Mexican Mafia, the notorious prison gang that controls many of Southern California’s Latino gangs.