Numero Uno conviction*

From our wire services:


LOS ANGELES – The owner of a Southern California grocery chain has been found guilty of racketeering, solicitation of murder and other crimes after a trial in which prosecutors said the markets were run like a criminal enterprise.
A Los Angeles federal court jury on Monday returned numerous convictions against George Torres, a resident of Arcadia who founded the Numero Uno markets that serve some of the region’s poorest neighborhoods.
Charges against his older brother, Manuel Torres, were dropped when the judge ruled prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence.
The brothers, along with two others, were indicted in 2007 after an 18-month federal investigation.

*Here’s the DOJ press release:


The owner of the Los Angeles-based Numero Uno supermarket chain was convicted today of participating in a racketeering enterprise that was involved in a host of illegal activities, including solicitation of murder, bribery of a public official, harboring illegal aliens and tax violations.
George Torres, 52, an Arcadia resident who has been in custody since he was arrested after being indicted two years ago, was found guilty of 55 felony counts, including racketeering, “honest services” mail fraud and wire fraud, conspiring to harbor illegal aliens, and a host of tax charges. The jury determined that Torres solicited the February 1994 murder of a gang member who demanded a “tax” from a Numero Uno Market. A federal court jury that deliberated for four days acquitted Torres of one count of wire fraud.
Although United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson has not yet scheduled a sentencing date, Torres faces a sentence of up to life in federal prison as a result of today’s convictions.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Torres operated his business, Numero Uno Markets, as a corrupt organization for nearly three decades, and that he used the assistance of a public officials to attempt to obtain valuable licenses and permits for Torres’ businesses in return for a stream of benefits that included lavish gifts. Torres, whose empire included 11 supermarkets in the greater Los Angeles area, used the markets to facilitate fraud and tax violations.
The United States Marshals Service has seized the Numero Uno supermarkets and other assets owned by Torres. The government is seeking to forfeit the assets.
The case against Torres is the result of an investigation by HIDTA, the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force. The investigation involved the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; IRS-Criminal Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; the Baldwin Park Police Department; the Azusa Police Department; the Bell Police Department; the Bell Gardens Police Department; the United States Marshals Service; and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email
  • 5th Estate

    When is government going to get off the backs of small business?

  • Pasadena Resident

    Job well done, prosecutors!

  • justice

    Will Quinn Emmanuel be putting this one in its newsletter? Quinn partner wins one count out of 56!

  • Los Angeles Resident

    The streets are safer for our families. I do feel sorry for all the people who were involved but we can’t live in peace knowing that men like George are running the streets. Thanks to all the law enforcement agencies that took part.

  • Former Enployee of Numero Uno to UCLA student.

    the owner is being portrayed as a felon that deserves the worst by the media. I met the man, heck i used to work at Numero Uno. But now i’m at UCLA. He actually care about his employees. A pair of gang members are dead, one of then killed a security guard at one of the Numero Uno markets. Besides they are gang members who are killing the innocent, and i don’t’ feel sorry for their death. He offered jobs to citizens and residents but neither wanted to work for minimum wage. “Jobs like these are beneath us to work for minimum wage, we don’t want this job!” Would someone who has worked hard all their life say the same thing? I think not. If he is charge for bribing top officials in city hall it is because they were asking money from him. US Senators and House Representatives don’t pay their fare share of taxes, just like the owner of Numero Uno. Did anything happen to our elite?

  • Former Enployee of Numero Uno to UCLA student.

    the owner is being portrayed as a felon that deserves the worst by the media. I met the man, heck i used to work at Numero Uno. But now i’m at UCLA. He actually care about his employees. A pair of gang members are dead, one of then killed a security guard at one of the Numero Uno markets. Besides they are gang members who are killing the innocent, and i don’t’ feel sorry for their death. He offered jobs to citizens and residents but neither wanted to work for minimum wage. “Jobs like these are beneath us to work for minimum wage, we don’t want this job!” Would someone who has worked hard all their life say the same thing? I think not. If he is charge for bribing top officials in city hall it is because they were asking money from him. US Senators and House Representatives don’t pay their fare share of taxes, just like the owner of Numero Uno. Did anything happen to our elite?

  • lakers fan

    Case just got overturned because prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence

  • Mom

    I actually want to Thank George for getting rid of two gangsters! We don’t need those losers that are killing innocent people like the guard but we do need people like George that provide jobs to hundreds of people in the community.

  • anonymous

    i think da goverment is full of shit !!!
    theyre greedy bastards !
    fuck you all corrupt mudafukers!
    dat sux for george tho!
    fuk gangsters!