Gang Member Pleads GuiltyIn Dodge City Racketeering Case
WICHITA, KAN. – A Dodge City gang member has pleaded guilty to conspiring to attempt to kill a rival gang member in connection with a federal racketeering case, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Jesus Sanchez, 23, Dodge City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit acts of racketeering.
In his plea, Sanchez admitted he was a member of the Diablos Viejos and affiliated with the Norteno street gang on March 30, 2011, when he attempted to shoot and kill George Gonzalez, a member of the rival Sureno gang. Sanchez and other Norteno gang members encountered Gonzalez at the east Love’s convenience store in Dodge City. They exchanged gang signs and slurs with the victim before driving away from the store. Later, they returned and pursued Gonzalez. Near 1602 6th Avenue, Gonzalez got out of the car in which he was riding and ran up the alley toward his girlfriend’s house. As Gonzalez ran, Sanchez fired at least two shots at him from a .40 caliber handgun. The shots struck a fence.
Sanchez also admitted that on July 2, 2008, in Dodge City he and another gang member robbed a victim named Bryant Licon at knifepoint.
Sanchez admitted that Nortenos engaged in violence including assaults and robberies as a means of advancing their positions in the organization and building the gang’s reputation.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 13, 2014. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Sanchez was one of 23 Norteno members indicted in May 2012. It was only the second time a federal RICO Act indictment (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) had been filed in Kansas. So far, 20 of the defendants have pleaded guilty or been found guilty. Three are awaiting trial.
Grissom commended the Dodge City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for their work on the case.