California Woman Receives 7-Year Prison Sentence for Serving as Secretary to Mexican Mafia Shot-Caller

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In federal sentencing on Monday, February 5, a La Verne woman, identified as a secretary for a prominent figure in the Mexican Mafia responsible for overseeing Latino gangs in Pomona from prison, was handed a seven-year prison term.

Kelly DeShannon, 42, faced charges and was convicted by a federal jury in July of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, committing a violent crime in support of racketeering activity, and using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, as announced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Seferino Gonzalez, the imprisoned shot-caller of the Michael Lerma Cell of the Mexican Mafia, relied on Deshannon’s services as a secretary. Gonzalez wielded significant influence over Latino gangs, directing activities such as drug trafficking and armed robbery in Pomona, all while incarcerated.

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Secretaries within the Mexican Mafia, frequently female associates, play a crucial role in communication between incarcerated members and relaying their directives to others involved in criminal activities.

Cheryl Perez-Castañeda, another secretary linked to the Lerma Cell, received a 12-year federal prison sentence in 2021. DeShannon, in her capacity as a secretary, actively participated in coordinating an attempted armed robbery targeting the car keys of a Mercedes-Benz SUV in 2013, leading to the shooting of a victim.

Her involvement included possessing knowledge of the victims’ addresses, awareness that they had access to the car keys, and direct communication with the victims, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice. The severity of these charges led to her conviction and subsequent seven-year prison sentence.

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