A 29-year-old alleged Santa Barbara gang member was arrested at a San Diego border crossing on Sunday on charges of conspiracy to commit extortion, according to Santa Barbara Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood. The arrest of Edgar Cordova — who had previously fled to Mexico after posting bail on other criminal charges but was located with the help of the California Department of Justice and a Mexican police unit — comes on the heels of the arrests earlier this month of four other reported area gang members also facing extortion-related charges.
Harwood said that a $1.7 million warrant went out for Cordova in late September following a 16-month investigation into suspicions that he and others were working to extort money — known as “collecting taxes” — from county residents on behalf of the Mexican Mafia prison gang. After being arrested on October 12, Cordova was first booked into the San Diego County Jail before being transferred to the Santa Barbara County Jail on October 15.
Also recently arrested as a result of that lengthy investigation were Benjamin Ybarra, Jesse Enriquez, Franco Anguiniga, and Ruben Regalado Jr. Santa Barbara Police Department detectives began looking into the Mexican Mafia’s sway over the Sureños street gang following the June 2013 arrest of gang member Raymond Macias for kidnapping, torture, and solicitation of extortion.