A San Bruno father who reportedly helped his murderous, gang-banging son run from the law three years ago has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison.
On Dec. 22, 2010, 23-year-old Joseph Ortiz told his father, 50-year-old Michael Ortiz, Sr., that he shot and killed several gang rivals in South San Francisco, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Rather than encouraging his son to turn himself in, the elder Ortiz reportedly joined accomplices in disposing of the firearms used in the shooting.
Michael Ortiz also helped his son flee to Mexico and helped hide a "critical witness" in that country, prosecutors said.
But it wasn't as if Michael Ortiz was new to breaking the law. He was described by law enforcement as a founder of the South San Francisco Norteños-affiliated C Street gang, which later merged with his son's gang, the 500 Block gang.
In July, the senior Ortiz pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and accessory charges. That same month, his son pleaded guilty to three racketeering murders and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 8. Three more suspects in the murders are awaiting trial.
The father and son were among 19 alleged Norteños and gang associates in South San Francisco who were indicted last year on various charges including racketeering, murder, theft and drug dealing.