San Manuel Gaming Chip

Friday, June 5, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

A man has been awarded another $2 million by a jury in the punitive damages phase of a civil trial against two members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, who contracted with the Mexican Mafia to kill him.

The plot to kill Leonard Epps was foiled, when officers of the San Bernardino Police Department and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stumbled upon the crime during wire-tap surveillance.

The threat to Epps life was initiated by siblings Erik and Stacy Barajas. Both are full members of the Indian Tribe, which owns a small reservation just north of Highland.

Stacy Nunez-Barajas still remains in custody, at the California State Prison, serving the remainder of a 15-year prison term.

Epps, at the time, was manager of the now-defunct Brass Key Lounge in Highland. An establishment, which at the time was owned by another Tribal member.

The new award brings the total that Epps will receive to $6.5 million, before legal contingencies and costs.

The verdict ends the long-running case, absent an appeal by the defense

Epps was represented by Highland Attorney Frank Peterson.

The defense was handled by San Bernardino Attorney Joseph Arias.