A high-ranking Mexican Mafia associate was sentenced to state prison Friday on extortion charges in connection with a 2006 carjacking case.
Albert Amaya, who authorities say collected “taxes,” or a percentage of drug sales from other local gangs, was sentenced to 25 years to life during proceedings in San Bernardino Superior Court.
Amaya and another defendant in the case, Javier Joaquin Luque, were convicted by a jury in April in connection with the carjacking.
An armed Luque, 34, took a vehicle in August 2006 and left the victims, which included a 5-year-old child, on the street at night. Luque was even wearing a GPS anklet, affixed by authorities, at the time.
Amaya was convicted of extortion for taking the vehicle back to the owner the next day and demanding money.
“I’m happy, of course, that Albert Amaya got 25 years to life,” Detienne said later, in a courthouse hallway. “I’m happy to get someone, with that kind of status, a life sentence.”
Luque was sentenced to 32 years in state prison on a carjacking charge, while the Probation Department suggested 33 years in a pre-sentencing report and Luque’s lawyer sought 24 years.
In a separate case, Luque also faces charges from the deadly shooting of Ronald Jaramillo, 35, and Elizabeth Amaya, 30, while they all traveled south in an SUV on First Avenue, near 40th Street, in unincorporated San Bernardino in September 2006.
Luque returns to court Monday for a pre-preliminary hearing in the double homicide case, which is eligible for the death penalty. However, prosecutors have not yet announced whether they plan to pursue it.