SALINAS (CBS SF) — A high-ranking Norteño gang member was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of orchestrating and participating in multiple attempted murders at the Monterey County Jail.

Johnny “Soldier Boy” Magdaleno, 33, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges and admitted being a member of the Nuestra Familia/Salinas Norteños, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson.

Johnny “Soldier Boy” Magdaleno (Monterey County Sheriff’s Office)

As part of his plea, Magdaleno admitted that while in the Monterey County jail he orchestrated and participated in violent “removals” of inmates to enforce the gang’s rules.  According to authorities, a “removal” of an inmate from both a custodial housing unit and the gang itself involves having one or more “hitters” stab the victim with a prison-made shank and then at least two “bombers” punch and kick the victim, which then allows the hitters to dispose of the weapon and wash the blood off of themselves.

Magdaleno admitted he had the power to authorize removals in the Monterey County Jail and while in custody he ordered and/or participated in the removals of five inmates between December of 2012 and April of 2014, according to Anderson. All the victims survived the attacks.

Magdaleno also admitted to running a narcotics distribution ring within the jail. He and 14 other Norteño gang members were indicted by a federal grand jury in September of 2018 on racketeering conspiracy charges.

To date, 11 of the defendants have pleaded guilty and nine have been sentenced to multi-year terms, with Magdaleno’s being the longest.

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