Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Fresno County MS-13 Gang Member Gets 10 Years in Prison
bill-new-mug-002
By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 2 years ago on
February 24, 2022

Share

 

More than three years after his headline-making arrest, a Mendota MS-13 gang leader is headed to federal prison for 10 years and a month.

Denis Barrera-Palma, 27, received his sentence Tuesday at the federal courthouse in downtown Fresno.

He pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and drug trafficking conspiracy charges on Feb. 28, 2020.

According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert, Barrera-Palma led the Mendota chapter of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal street gang that engages in racketeering, murder, kidnapping, extortion, and drug trafficking.

Pipe Attack at Mendota Elementary School

On May 14, 2018, Barrera-Palma, along with others, assaulted another individual with a pipe in front of an elementary school in Mendota. The motivation for the assault, according to court documents, was to enhance Barrera-Palma’s standing in MS-13.

Court documents also state that the gang, through Barrera-Palma, would acquire drugs, and distribute them among members with a directive that they sell the drugs within a certain period of time and return all proceeds to the gang.

Profits from the drug sales funded trips to buy more drugs and commit violent acts, put money “on the books” of incarcerated MS-13 members, and send money to MS-13 leaders in El Salvador.

Arrests Announced at News Conference

In August 2018, 25 individuals associated with MS-13 were arrested on federal and state charges after a year-long multi-agency investigation dubbed “Operation Blue Inferno.”

Then state Attorney General Xavier Becerra attended a news conference announcing the arrests, as did Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

“When you talk about maiming human life, scarring them to the point that you don’t recognize them, I don’t know if you would call them human beings,” Becerra said of MS-13.

All 15 of Barrera-Palma’s federal co-defendants were sentenced previously.

The Prosecutors

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross Pearson and Kimberly Sanchez prosecuted this case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dennis Lewis is working with the team and prosecuting related cases in Fresno County Superior Court.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

DON'T MISS

California Cracked Down After a Crash Killed 13 Farmworkers. Why Are Workers Still Dying on the Road?

DON'T MISS

These Rare Chainsaws Are Worth Big Bucks to Collectors

DON'T MISS

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

DON'T MISS

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

DON'T MISS

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

DON'T MISS

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

DON'T MISS

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

DON'T MISS

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

DON'T MISS

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

UP NEXT

California Cracked Down After a Crash Killed 13 Farmworkers. Why Are Workers Still Dying on the Road?

UP NEXT

These Rare Chainsaws Are Worth Big Bucks to Collectors

UP NEXT

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

UP NEXT

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

UP NEXT

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

UP NEXT

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

UP NEXT

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

UP NEXT

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

UP NEXT

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

UP NEXT

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

2 days ago

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

3 days ago

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

3 days ago

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

3 days ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

3 days ago

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

3 days ago

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

3 days ago

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

3 days ago

Bulldogs’ Gilmore Named MW Softball Pitcher of the Year

3 days ago

The Latest | Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack a Truck in an Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

3 days ago

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

LONDON — Paul McCartney is a billionaire Beatle. According to figures released Friday, the former member of the Fab Four is the first Britis...

2 days ago

2 days ago

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

2 days ago

California Cracked Down After a Crash Killed 13 Farmworkers. Why Are Workers Still Dying on the Road?

2 days ago

These Rare Chainsaws Are Worth Big Bucks to Collectors

2 days ago

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

3 days ago

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

3 days ago

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

3 days ago

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

3 days ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend