first_imgAccording to a 2005 federal indictment, the gang traded in narcotics and high-end illegal weapons and stole expensive appliances from construction sites. It also aligned itself with the Mexican Mafia prison gang to increase its narcotics trade and control large swaths of the Valley, according to the indictment. The group became a major target for local law enforcement when reputed member David Garcia allegedly gunned down Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka near Bob Hope Airport in November 2003. Garcia is awaiting trial. The federal racketeering case against the gang began in June 2005, when federal and local authorities staged pre-dawn raids against Vineland Boys members. In total, 49 were indicted.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “Quite frankly, I don’t believe you,” the judge said. Family members of the victim, Martha Puebla, 16, sat in a row in the back of the gallery but said nothing. Puebla was killed in 2003 after gang members found out she was going to testify against them. On July 25, while attorneys were selecting a jury for his trial, Covarrubias agreed to plead guilty in Puebla’s murder. In exchange, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed not to seek the death penalty against him. Covarrubias also received a 20-year sentence for the attempted murder of Martin Martinez, who was shot and left paralyzed in October 2004, and 10 years for discharging a firearm in relation to his gang activities. Founded in the 1980s by members of a San Fernando Valley-area football team, the Vineland Boys was one of the most prominent and violent gangs in the communities of Burbank, Sylmar and Sunland. A member of a once-powerful San Fernando Valley gang who admitted killing a teenage girl and other crimes to avoid the death penalty was sentenced today to life in prison. In handing down the term for Vineland Boys member Javier Covarrubias, 22, of Sun Valley, U.S. District Judge John Walter called the crimes “most heinous and most despicable.” When the judge asked him if he had anything to say, Covarrubias said, “I’m innocent. That’s all.” He said he only pleaded guilty to spare his family from the hardship of a trial. last_img