Kingpin who oversaw drug distribution, crimes of violence in Fallbrook and other No. County communities gets 35 years in prison

SAN DIEGO – An Escondido man was sentenced to 35 years in prison today, Friday, Oct. 25, for his role in a network of drug distribution and crimes of violence.

Rudy Espudo, 41, was the lead defendant in a major organized-crime prosecution involving a Mexican Mafia prison gang.

He was convicted in August 2012 of conspiracy to distribute narcotics — cocaine and methamphetamine — and brandishing a gun during a violent crime in connection with his duties in overseeing the activities of gang members throughout much of northern San Diego County.

The length of the prison term handed down by U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez reflected his importance to the Mexican Mafia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Espudo engaged in drug trafficking and extortion, profiting from the illegal activities of Escondido, Fallbrook and San Marcos gangs that worked under his so-called protection, which he pledged to provide as long as they paid “taxes” to organized-crime bosses.

The payments allowed lower-level criminals to conduct their illicit business free from interference from the Mexican Mafia, according to court documents.

Prosecutors alleged at trial that Espudo’s power over the gangs was pervasive and dramatic. To utter his name invoked celebrity status, but to get on his bad side was to run the risk of ending up beaten and bloodied from a “green light” — an assault order from a Mexican Mafia member on a person or gang.

The case was part of “Operation Notorious County,” which in January 2012 resulted in eight indictments charging 51 people with participating in organized crime. All the defendants were convicted at trial or pleaded guilty to firearms offenses, extortion, robbery, money laundering and drug trafficking.

9 Responses to "Kingpin who oversaw drug distribution, crimes of violence in Fallbrook and other No. County communities gets 35 years in prison"

  1. n8ive 55   October 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm


  2. Preston   October 27, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Actually, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison where he will be provided free room, meals, TV, medical, gym, etc and will be able to continue to run his drug operations in a more secure environment until he is released in a few years.

  3. Reality checker   October 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Yes, they just gave him protection for a few years. And medical care for free. And food for free. And entertainment for free. Did I mention protection for free? He’s more free and safe now than he ever was before. And we spent millions to achieve that. Next time you look at your pay stub, you see money taken from you before you ever get to see it, that’s what some of it went for.

  4. Ray (the real one)   October 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    And the Sheriff says gangs are not a problem. F O U R active gangs in Fallbrook… I told you so.

    When you folks going to listen to facts instead of the daily diatribe from the local media and law enforcement, FBVN excluded of course.

    You folks have no idea what happens in your own community.

  5. Steve   October 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    @ Ray (the real one) I know we have Varrio Fallbrook Locos and White Aryan Resistance which are the other two gangs?

  6. Ray (the real one)   October 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Steve. WAR has never been a gang, just a man who once lived on Clemmons. VFL, MS-13, Mexican Mafia, CHP and that that hangs out on Main, if you call them a gang anymore.

  7. Redneck Bill   October 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm


    The White Aryan Resistance doesn’t count to Ray because they’re white. As well as other reasons, but if I listed them, this wouldn’t get posted.

    That means there are 3 other active gangs in Fallbrooke’, not two.

  8. brook boy   October 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Stuff like this has been happening in fallbrook since along time ppl dnt want to open their eyes n admit it happens but its been happening and its gana continue to happen no matter wat law enforcement does

  9. Carla   October 30, 2013 at 1:14 am

    VILLAGE NEWS NOTE: Carla – and others – this thread is not about the White Aryan Resistance so don’t go in detail in that direction. Stay on the original story topic – local drug issues, Mexican Mafia, etc. Thanks. D. Ramsey


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