“Local, state and federal law enforcement officers who work together to combat violent gang activity are heroes to our communities in which residents live in fear. We applaud this law enforcement work that works to protect lives and the quality of life.” - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
FRESNO—On April 5, 2023, Israel Alberto Rivas Gomez, 28, a citizen of El Salvador residing in Mendota, was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering.
According to court documents, Rivas Gomez was a member of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal street gang that engages in racketeering activity, including murder, kidnapping, extortion, and drug trafficking. On Dec. 18, 2017, Rivas Gomez and his fellow MS-13 members kidnapped the 19-year-old victim in Mendota, drove him to a remote location approximately 30 minutes away, and used a knife and machete to murder him, all in furtherance of MS-13’s criminal gang enterprise. A jury convicted Rivas Gomez in September 2022 of kidnaping and murder in aid of racketeering.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the California Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit (SSU).