CHICAGO — A man has been indicted on a federal racketeering charge for allegedly murdering a teenage girl to maintain and increase his position in a violent Chicago street gang.
PATRICK JOHNSON, 27, of Chicago, is charged with one count of murder in aid of racketeering. An indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago accuses Johnson of murdering Veronica Lopez on May 28, 2016, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing Johnson’s position in the Milwaukee Kings street gang. Lopez, 15, was fatally shot while riding in a sport-utility vehicle on DuSable Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.
Johnson was arrested this morning and remains detained in federal custody.
The indictment and arrest were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Prashant Kolluri and Caitlin Walgamuth.
The indictment alleges that the Milwaukee Kings is a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in narcotics trafficking and committed acts of violence, including murder and assault, to acquire and preserve the gang’s territory on the North Side of Chicago. Members of the gang intimidated rival gang members and others through acts and threats of violence, according to the indictment.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Murder in aid of racketeering is punishable by a mandatory sentence of life in prison, and the death penalty is also possible. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.