|The Mexican Mafia, or “La Eme” is a U.S.-based gang made up primarily of Mexican-American street gang members. The Texas Mexican Mafia was formed by Heriberto “Herb” Huerta in 1984 at the Huntsville prison in Texas. The original purpose of the Mexikanemi was to bring Mexican nationals and Mexican Americans together in an attempt to defend against other predatory prison gangs like the Texas Syndicate. The Mexikanemi quickly grew into a formidable force within the Texas prison system, expanding exponentially. As members were released, the group focused on drug trafficking, extortion, murder, and robbery.|
The Mexikanemi soon spread to numerous other cities across Texas, including Houston, Odessa, Dallas, El Paso, Midland, and elsewhere.
|By the early 2000s, the Mexikanemi had become a powerful criminal force in Texas allied with numerous Mexican drug cartels. The group’s first major transnational alliances were established with the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, providing access to large quantities of narcotics.|
Soon the Mexikanemi expanded involvement into all aspects of the drug trade, including trafficking, wholesale supply, and retail sale.
|The Mexikanemi possesses a paramilitary structure that includes a president, vice president, generals, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and soldiers.|
Heriberto Huerta remains president of the gang and continues to run the organization from his prison cell in the supermax federal penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. Benito Alonzo is the gang’s vice-president, and Robert Carreno is the leader of the group’s outside criminal activities. Huerta and Alonzo are estimated to have close to 5,000 Mexikanemi members under their control throughout Texas and parts of northern Mexico.
Benito Alonzo, vice-president for life
|The Texas Mexican Mafia is highly active in Texas. Additional income is generated through the taxation of local, street-level drug dealers. Dealers who refuse to pay this 10% tax or “dime” are subject to home invasions, also known as “door kicks.”|
Mexikanemi members are known for their brutality, killing anyone who attempts to obstruct or limit the group’s profits. The Mexikanemi are recognized as the most powerful and influential gang operating in south Texas.