The shot-caller of a street gang that operates in Santa Fe Springs and Whittier was convicted Friday of federal criminal charges, including counts stemming from the April 2016 slaying of a rival outside a San Gabriel Valley restaurant.
Jose Loza, 40, of Whittier was found guilty in Los Angeles federal court of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations-- RICO -- Act, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances, and discharging a firearm during a violent crime.
U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips scheduled a Dec. 16 sentencing hearing.
Loza -- a gang enforcer and Mexican Mafia member -- was convicted of the April 19, 2016 killing of a rival gang member who, according to prosecutors, wanted to expand his influence and challenge the authority of other Mexican Mafia members in the San Gabriel Valley.
During the confrontation at a restaurant in the unincorporated community of Bassett, the Mexican Mafia member was fatally shot, his bodyguard was severely wounded and an innocent restaurant patron was shot six times in the abdomen, back, buttocks and legs, according to federal prosecutors.
Loza was also found guilty of aiding in the trafficking of methamphetamine on behalf of his gang, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The case stems from a 2016 federal grand jury indictment charging 51 suspected gang members and associates. Prosecutors have secured more than 20 convictions so far.