Three San Francisco Norteño Gang Members Sentenced to Decades in Prison for Racketeering and Murder

Three San Francisco Norteño Gang Members Sentenced to Decades in Prison for Racketeering and MurderSource: Google Street View
Eileen Vargas
Published on December 08, 2023

Three members of San Francisco's notorious Mission District Norteño gang have been sentenced to decades behind bars, dealing a significant blow to the gang's violent grip on the community. Fernando Madrigal, Alvaro Reina Cordero, and Oscar Guadron Diaz faced justice after pleading guilty to federal racketeering conspiracy charges linked to a series of murders and an attempted murder that shook the city between January 2018 and July 2019. According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the sentences, which range from 21 to 33 years, were handed out by Judge William H. Orrick.

25-year-old Madrigal, dubbed "Nando," received the heaviest sentence of 33 years for masterminding a deadly ruse in July 2018 and for mistakenly executing a 15-year-old boy the following year with an AR-style firearm, believing the teenager to be a rival gang member. Madrigal aimed to both earn respect among his peers and boost his own status within the gang. The details of Madrigal's plea agreement reveal he intended simply to rob a man under the guise of buying marijuana from him. However, the encounter ended in the victim's ruthless murder and the elaborate disposal of the evidence, as reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office release.

On January 23, 2018, a suspected rival gang member and his companion were targeted while standing at a bus stop, which tragically ended in death and severe injury. Cordero, known as "G-Boy," aged 26, and Guadron Diaz, "Cutty," aged 24, admitted to carrying out the calculated drive-by shooting. Their confessions outlined how Cordero donned a skeleton mask before unleashing a hail of bullets upon the unsuspecting pair. Guadron Diaz, who idled nearby, facilitated the getaway. The investigation following the incident led to the discovery of ammunition and a fully automatic machine gun at Diaz's residence—a stark testament to the gravity of gang violence in the city. Both men conceded these acts were committed in a bid to gain respect within their criminal circle, with Cordero sentenced to 26 years and Diaz to 21 years.

"Norteño criminal street gangs have terrorized San Francisco’s Mission District for years through a relentless campaign of shootings, robberies, gun trafficking, drug dealing, and extortion," declared First Assistant United States Attorney Patrick D. Robbins. This strong statement from Robbins is given weight by the sentences served, which he contends send a "clear message" that such violent crime will not be tolerated. FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp also spoke out on the matter, stating that "The sentences handed down today cannot undo the harm inflicted on the victims or their families, but the defendants have been held accountable." The FBI, along with local officials, remain committed to eradicating the threat of violent gangs from San Francisco's streets.

All three convicts have also been sentenced to five years of supervised release following their custodial terms, Judge Orrick ordered. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leif Dautch led the prosecution, with support from Paralegal Specialist Kevin Costello, as part of the multi-year FBI investigation in cooperation with the San Francisco Police Department’s Community Violence Reduction Team and Homicide Detail.