• Matt Esnayra

Mexican Mafia Member Shot Dead in Long Beach, Identified by Police

According to a report by the LA Times, former Mexican Mafia member Samuel Villalba, age 64, was shot and killed at a homeless encampment in North Long Beach on Sunday, Jan 10, in what investigators are calling a gang-related shooting.


On Jan 10., LBPD says dispatch received a 911 call at roughly 8:10 p.m. to a homeless encampment along the 91-Freeway near the 2300 block of East 68th Street. When the officers arrived, they encountered an unconscious male with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, authorities would later identify the victim as Villalba.

  • Police say witnesses saw two men running away towards Cherry Avenue from the scene of the shooting, per LBP.

  • Villalba is believed to have been living in the encampment at the time of his death.


Villalba was a member of the Artesia street gang, and in 1994, Villalba, along with 22 other Mexican Mafia members were indicted with racketeering charges.

  • Following the indictments, Villalba was on the run for five months. He would later be arrested in 1995 at a motel in Buena Park and served 14 years after pleading guilty to racketeering charges.

  • The LA Times reports that while in prison, Villalba assaulted a senior member of the Mexican Mafia that lead to his exile from that group and placed a vendetta on his head.

  • Villalba also served time in prison again in 2014 and 2016 for violating the terms of his release.

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