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Home / Kelly Deshannon

Mexican Mafia ‘secretary’ from La Verne sentenced to over 7 years in fed prison

A La Verne woman was sentenced Monday to 85 months in federal prison for acting as a so-called secretary to an imprisoned Mexican Mafia shot caller who controlled Latino gangs in Pomona, including facilitating an armed robbery and shooting, as well as distribution of narcotics and extortion.

Kelly Deshannon, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu in downtown Los Angeles.

At the conclusion of a five-day trial, a federal jury in July found Deshannon guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, one count of committing a violent crime in support of racketeering activity (VICAR), and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prosecutors said Deshannon served as a secretary to Seferino Gonzalez, an imprisoned shot caller of the “Michael Lerma cell” of the Mexican Mafia. From prison, Gonzalez exerted control over Latino gangs, including overseeing drug trafficking and other offenses committed in Pomona.

As a secretary, Deshannon helped facilitate an attempted armed robbery of car keys to a Mercedes-Benz SUV, resulting in a shooting. On the night of the shooting, Deshannon brought the gunman and other defendants with her to the victims’ address. The victim, though wounded, survived the attack.

Deshannon’s other criminal conduct included brokering drug sales and collecting extortionate taxes in Lerma’s alleged territory, according to the DOJ.

Lerma, who is the lead defendant in the case, was indicted in 2018 and pleaded not guilty to RICO conspiracy and multiple other federal charges. His trial is scheduled for July 23 in Los Angeles federal court, and he remains in custody.

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