2. Maria Leon

Maria Leon was able to manage being a mother and take care of her thirteen kids all while running a criminal empire. She was the head boss behind a gang that that was known for human trafficking, drug smuggling and murders. She became one of the most feared gangsters in all of Los Angeles when she received backing from the Mexican Mafia. Police reports said that her gang turned entire neighborhoods into “hell” and if police were to ever enter, shots would be fired.

Her son, Danny “Clever” Leon was killed in a police shootout when he was found wielding an AK-47 in 2008. When Maria Leon first heard the news she was hiding in a Mexican suburb and decided to go to the United States and attend her son’s funeral. Maria Leon had to be smuggled past the border and into the United States with the help of a few of her criminal contacts because she wasn’t allowed to re-enter. They weren’t aware they were under surveillance and their plans to scale the fence at the border were foiled by police that overheard them.

The surveillance also caught wind of other human trafficking missions and ended up being enough to arrest Maria Leon as well as other members from within the gang. While other members received lesser sentences, Maria Leon was sentenced to eight years imprisonment.


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