SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Two documented gang members were sentenced to state prison for the carjacking of 31-year-old male victim.
James Tafoya, 29, and Marcos Mungarro, Jr., 22, both of San Bernardino, were sentenced Friday at the San Bernardino Justice Center by Superior Court Judge Harold T. Wilson, Jr., after being convicted of multiple counts March 15. [ENTER LENGTH OF SENTENCE]
A jury found Tafoya guilty of Carjacking Special Allegation Use of a Firearm, Second Degree Robbery, Assault with a Firearm and Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance. Jurors found true special allegations that the killing was committed for the benefit of a gang. In addition, gun allegations were found true.
Mungarro was found guilty of Carjacking Special Allegation Use of a Firearm, Second Degree Robbery, Assault with a Firearm and Street Terrorism. Jurors found true special allegations that the killing was committed for the benefit of a gang. In addition, gun allegations were found true.
Deputy District Attorney Christine Masonek, who is assigned to the Central Division Gang Unit, prosecuted the case.
On Nov. 9, 2015, at approximately 3:00 a.m., the victim’s ex-wife called him, telling him she was afraid of some gang members who were out in front of her house. The victim told her to call the police and hung up.
According to Deputy District Attorney Christine Masonek, the victim received an angry text message stating that he needed to come over and check on the safety of their two young children. After receiving the text, the victim drove his silver BMW to his ex-wife’s residence and found no one outside her residence.
After a brief argument with his ex-wife, he returned to his vehicle and suddenly surrounded by four males, two of whom were holding guns—both Tafoya and Mungarro.
Tafoya and Mungarro pointed the weapons at the victim, demanded all his property and threatened to kill him, while Mungarro yelled the name of his gang.
“Tafoya then hit the victim with a closed fist just below his right eye causing a laceration and swelling while Mungarro pistol whipped him,” said Masonek.
The four males shoved the victim to the ground, taking his cell phone, his car and house keys and his wallet. They then threw out the two child seats in the victim’s car and drove away.
The victim went to a neighboring residence where he called 911. Within 40 minutes his stolen vehicle was located 4 miles away, parked and locked approximately 4 houses from the Tafoya family residence. Tafoya and Mungarro were eventually located and arrested by Highland Sheriff’s deputies. A third suspect, 24-year-old Graciela Solis of Highland, was detained, and found in possession of the victim’s BMW keys. She pleaded guilty to Accessory After the Fact Feb. 16, 2016 and was sentenced to 180 days in County Jail.
Following the arrest, deputies received a tip that Tafoya would likely be trying to smuggle narcotics into the jail for the Mexican Mafia. After obtaining a search warrant and conducting an x-ray, a large object—three-inches in diameter—was observed in Tafoya’s anal cavity. Tafoya then removed the object which contained 24.2 grams of heroin.