Federal prosecutors on Friday charged eight alleged Imperial Gangsters street gang members in a 41-count indictment that expands on previous homicide and drug trafficking charges.
The indictment Friday and those prior allege 12 murders and eight attempted murders dating to 2002, according to David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, who announced the charges at a news conference in Hammond.
“With this indictment we have now charged 23 members of the Imperial Gangsters,” Capp said. “The Imperial Gangsters is an ongoing criminal enterprise and we will continue our efforts until all members are off the streets.”
Friday’s indictment included charges against new defendants for conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Those charged were: Salvador Chavez, 33, Chicago; Raymond Campos, 28, Ace Cortez, 33, Julius Solis, 23, Darmaile Cortez Sutton, 29, Eddie Torres, 42, and Richard Reyes, 40, all of East Chicago; and Julian Guillermo Serna, 23, of Munster.
The indictment also alleges five additional homicides that were not alleged in previous indictments:
• The 2004 homicide of Anuar David Paez in East Chicago allegedly by Cortez;
• The 2005 homicide of Guadalupe Trevino in Gary, allegedly by Jason Medina, who was previously indicted;
• The 2007 homicide of Rene Alonzo in East Chicago, allegedly by Reyes;
• The 2007 homicide of Luis Ortiz in Hammond, allegedly Juan Briseno, who was previously indicted;
• The 2008 homicide of Mario Soriano in Hammond, allegedly by Serna.
The indictment also charges Briseno with three attempted homicides that were not previously charged in 2008 and 2009. Solis is also accused in a new attempted murder charge dating to 2009.
In addition to Briseno, seven people remain charged in prior indictments: Justin Weaver, Michael Anthony Castillo, Jason Medina, Edward Raye Serna, Robert Lockhart, Armando Jose Velasquez and Anthony Baldazo.
Seven people have pleaded guilty: Galo Benjamin Feliciano, Guillermo Briseno, Alejandro Balboa Lara, Kevin Beltran, David Almaraz, Joseph Rene Torres and Alejandro Briseno.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the East Chicago Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement offices in Gary, Hammond and Lake County are investigating. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Nozick.