Maricopa man sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple felony offenses

(FLORENCE, AZ,  August 21st, 2023) - A Maricopa man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple felony offenses including possession of dangerous drugs for sale, attempted first degree murder and participating in a criminal street gang.

On August 14th, 2023 Pinal County Superior Court Judge Daniel Washburn sentenced Joey Mata, 38, to 20 years flat time in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Mata pled guilty to Attempted First Degree Murder, a Class 2 Dangerous Felony; Participating in a Criminal Street Gang, a Class Two Felony; and Possession of Dangerous Drugs for Sale, a Class Two Felony.

The three cases include the below separate incidents:

In April, 2016 Mata went to another man's residence, waited outside, and shot at him when the victim came out of the house. The victim pursued Mata and they ended up in an alleyway where Mata fired more shots at the victim. Investigators determined the victim and Mata knew each other and Mata was identified as the suspect. (Attempted First Degree Murder).

In January, 2022, while in custody of the Pinal County Detention Facility, a detention officer located a handwritten note, called a 'Kite,' in the pod where Mata and other members of the Arizona Mexican Mafia were housed. The note was a directive from the highest ranking member of the Arizona Mexican Mafia to assault night staff at the jail. The Arizona Department of Public Safety conducted a handwriting comparison and confirmed Mata as the author (Participating in a Criminal Street Gang).

While out on bail for the two prior incidents, Mata was pulled over for a traffic stop by the Casa Grande Police Department in January 2023. During the traffic stop, an officer noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view.  While Mata was detained, officers searched the vehicle and located seven pounds of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and several thousand dollars in cash, among other items (Possession of Dangerous Drugs for Sale).