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Long-time Mexican Mafia Member Eduardo Castro Gunned Down in Los Angeles; Body Riddled with Bullets

Long-time Mexican Mafia Member Eduardo Castro Gunned Down in Los Angeles; Body Riddled with Bullets

A pickup truck drove around the block in Boyle Heights, seemingly on the lookout for someone, before coming to a halt beside a man on a bicycle.

Eduardo “Eddie Boy” Castro was shot six times by a gunman who fired a .45-caliber handgun out of the passenger-side window.

Castro, 59, was a long-time member of the Mexican Mafia, and his murder had numerous possible motives, according to law enforcement officials and underworld sources. He had chosen not to align himself with any faction in the ongoing conflicts within the prison-based syndicate, which led to animosity from incarcerated members who noticed his infrequent periods of confinement.

However, his brother Ernesto proved to be an incredibly influential witness in the Mexican Mafia’s history. He played a crucial role in assisting prosecutors in convicting numerous members of the organization in the landmark racketeering case.

Last week, authorities made a significant breakthrough in the case of Eduardo Castro’s murder, as they apprehended the individual believed to be responsible for his tragic death.

A 60-year-old man named Vincent “Spanky” Armendariz has been charged with the murder of Castro. Armendariz, a reputed member of a small East Los Angeles gang called Winter Gardens, did not enter a plea during a court appearance on Monday. The lawyer directed inquiries to the media office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender, but no response was received to the comment request.

During his teenage years, Eduardo Castro decided to join Varrio Nuevo Estrada, a gang located in the Estrada Courts housing project in Boyle Heights, following in the footsteps of his older brother Ernesto.

According to Richard Valdemar, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant, Ernesto, also known as Chuco, had a distinct personality compared to his brother. Valdemar played a crucial role in persuading Ernesto to defect as per LA Times.

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In 1993, Ernesto Castro was apprehended by authorities when a collection of firearms was discovered concealed beneath his residence in Alhambra. Exhausted by the internal conflicts within the Mexican Mafia and determined to avoid going back to prison, he spent the following two years undercover.

The case went to trial in 1997. Eduardo’s intense gaze pierced through the courtroom as his brother stepped onto the witness stand, evoking a sense of familiarity reminiscent of a certain iconic movie scene.

Ernesto was disturbed, Valdemar remembered. “You have your brother watching you, fully aware that he is a part of the same organization you are betraying.” It’s reminiscent of a certain iconic film.

Ernesto remained steadfast and did not experience a change of heart, unlike the character Pentangeli in fiction. He faced an intense six-week cross-examination from the defendants’ lawyers, with the majority of them ultimately being convicted.

Valdemar shared that Ernesto’s relatives were deeply affected by the situation, with some of them cutting ties and refusing to enter witness protection. This left Ernesto burdened with guilt. “He was separating himself from a significant portion of his family. He had essentially transformed into what his gang would label as lacking courage and betraying their trust. It caused him immense pain and devastation.

According to Valdemar, under the Mexican Mafia’s code, Eduardo would have been required to eliminate his brother if he ever came across him or discovered his location.

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