Calif. Prison Hunger Strike Leader Named In Gang Crackdown
SACRAMENTO (AP) — Federal indictments aimed at disrupting the Mexican Mafia prison gang and a Mexican drug cartel name as an unindicted co-conspirator the man who helped organize the massive hunger strike in California state prisons.
The indictments unsealed this week call Arturo Castellanos a Mexican Mafia member and “the undisputed leader” of the Florencia 13 street gang in south Los Angeles County.
They allege that Castellanos runs the gang from inside his high-security cell at Pelican Bay State Prison.
Castellanos and three other gang leaders in the prison’s isolation unit organized the hunger strike that at one point last month included more than 30,000 inmates. More than 360 inmates were still not eating this week to protest prison conditions.
The indictment supports prison officials’ argument that the strike is really about gang leaders’ power.
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