Mexican Mafia associates sentenced for San Diego jail meth distribution conspiracy

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SAN DIEGO — A methamphetamine distribution conspiracy that operated in San Diego jails has since lost two contributing members.

Marquella Marshall, 41, and Marsha Delacruz, 47, were sentenced in federal court Tuesday for their role in the illegal operation, announced U.S. attorney Tara McGrath’s office.

Marshall was given a 180-month prison stay, while Delacruz will spend 48 months behind bars, U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns decided.

‘El Chapo’-linked narcotrafficker sentenced for moving millions of dollars worth of cocaine

According to court records, Marshall, a Texas resident who previously lived in San Diego, is an Eastside San Diego street gang member and a “facilitator” and “secretary” for the Mexican Mafia.+

As explained by the attorney’s office, Marshall was tasked by high-ranking Mexican Mafia members to communicate on their behalf, collect and launder money, handle drug transactions, and direct street operations on the gang’s behalf.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Burns described Marshall as “a conduit” for the Mexican
Mafia and further described the distribution conspiracy as “an assault on the integrity of the prison system.”

“Drug smuggling and use in prisons result in overdose, violence, and power struggles,” said U.S. attorney McGrath. “These significant sentences are a strike against the prison drug culture which puts guards and staff at risk and exists in large part because of dangerous gangs like the Mexican Mafia.”

Delacruz, who’s from Lemon Grove, was also an Eastside San Diego street gang member, court documents show. Delacruz was reported to have worked at the direction of Marshall, the attorney’s office explained.

As part of the conspiracy, Marshall, Delacruz and others mailed methamphetamine to various
locations, including jails and prisons in Southern California. According to court documents, Marshall and Delacruz disguised some of the narcotics-laden packages as legal mail to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Several Mexican Mafia associates, including the pair sentenced Tuesday, were apprehended after an investigation by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force/ Gang Group.

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