LOS ANGELES — A leader of a South Los Angeles street gang involved in two decades of killings, robberies and other crimes has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and selling crack cocaine near schools, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
Tyrine Martinez, 36, entered pleas Wednesday to racketeering, drug and weapons charges and could face 15 years to life in federal prison, prosecutors said.
In a plea agreement, Martinez — who went by the gang name “Lil’ C-Bone,” acknowledged being a supervisor of the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips, which controlled drug sales in an area just west of Skid Row, according to a U.S. attorney’s office statement.
Martinez acknowledged that he was a leader of the gang’s “hit squad,” which was called the “Gremlin Riderz” and whose members had tattoos of characters from the 1984 movie “Gremlins,” according to the statement.
Martinez also acknowledged conspiring to murder another gang member who gave police information about a 2012 shooting that killed an unarmed teenager and wounded three others, including a 10-year-old girl, prosecutors said.
He was among 72 people charged in a federal indictment targeting the gang.
Two other high-ranking gang members pleaded guilty in July and August to racketeering and drug charges and could face potential life sentences, prosecutors said.
The gang leaders orchestrated “a campaign of violence and drug trafficking” that included preying on vulnerable Skid Row residents through illegal drug sales, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement.
The indictment followed an investigation by the FBI and Los Angeles police, with help from state prison officials, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and other local police departments.