The man behind the Almighty Imperial Gangsters Nation pleads guilty

Victor Emmanuel Lopez "Magic"
Victor Emmanuel Lopez "Magic" Miami Police department

The founder of the South Florida chapter of the Almighty Imperial Gangsters Nation pleaded guilty to his part in gang activity, which includes the murder of a witness who was going to testify against him.

Victor Emmanuel Lopez, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct and participate in the gang’s racketeering charges. He’ll be sentenced on the last day of January. The maximum penalty is life in prison.

The Almighty Imperial Gangsters Nation, which paid for its activity by selling drugs including cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, began in Chicago in the 1970s.

That’s where Lopez, who was known as “Magic,” joined in 2001. According to the indictment, Lopez got permission to start a South Florida chapter of the gang.

Broward County was known as “Money Side,” and areas of Miami-Dade County — including Little Havana, Allapattah, Hammocks, Kendall and Homestead — were known as “Homicide.”

While leading the South Florida chapter, Lopez is accused of shooting into a car in 2006, killing Rivky Josma and injuring two others; taking part in a 2007 drive-by shooting of a suspected rival gang member where he accidentally shot a bystander; and ordering his gang members to shoot and kill Mauricio Waikay, a state witness who had provided information for a case against Lopez, in 2011.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc