Kelly Deshannon, a 42-year-old woman in La Verne, was found guilty of several crimes for involvement with an imprisoned Mexican Mafia “shot caller,” including one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, as well as one count of committing a violent crime in support of racketeering activity (VICAR), and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. She is facing a statutory sentence of at least seven years in federal prison but no more than 20 years.
Secretary Helped Imprisoned Mexican Mafia Boss Get His Job Done
During the five-day trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Deshannon served as Seferino Gonzalez's secretary. Gonzalez is a shot caller of the Michael Lerma Cell of the Mexican Mafia, who continued to exert his control over Latino gangs while in prison with Deshannon's help.
In one particular incident, Deshannon apparently aided in the attempted armed robbery of a set of car keys in July 2013 by bringing the defendants to the victim's address. While trying to take the car keys, the victim was shot. Deshannon has assisted in other aspects of her employer's work, including brokering drug sales and collecting extortionate taxes in the territory of the Lerma Cell.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Experienced criminal attorneys understand what you are up against when charged with federal offenses like RICO and VICAR. They will work tirelessly to ensure you are not only prepared to defend yourself but also that you are completely aware of the process ahead of you. RICO and VICAR charges can be difficult to defend, but not impossible. For instance, for VICAR charges, a competent attorney will uncover evidence and witness testimony that undermines the federal prosecution's assertion that the defendant, in particular, violently hurt or killed the victim to further an illegal enterprise.