The Californian — Nuestra Familia CEO Vincent “Chente” Garcia was sentenced Friday in Salinas to 35 years to life in prison, a commitment that accounted for two prior strikes for attempted murder and burglary.
Monterey County Superior Court Judge Pamela Butler discounted an argument from defense attorney Bryan Hackett, who represented 47-year-old Garcia, that the 1996 and 1998 convictions were too “remote in time” to be considered as strikes.
Hackett had filed a Romero Motion, which would have allowed the court to disregard prior strikes “in the furtherance of justice.”
Under California’s Three Strikes Law, Garcia earned five years apiece for each prior conviction to run consecutive to 25 years to life for conspiring to sell methamphetamine for the benefit of the Nuestra Familia gang.
Garcia was convicted in December by a jury of 10 women and two men who only needed two hours to render a decision.
On Friday, Garcia was turned over to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin his sentence. He enters prison with 1,244 days credited.
Paul Leyba’s nine-year prison sentence pales in comparison to Garcia’s decades-long commitment, Hackett argued. Leyba and Garcia were among 47 arrested during the May 2013 Operation Snake Eyes orchestrated by federal agents. Leyba was the original target, Hackett said. continue reading...