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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Latin Dragon Nation Member Sentenced to 420 Months Imprisonment

For Violent Crimes

HAMMOND- Gustavo Mata, 29, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon on his plea of guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as a member of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Mata was sentenced to 420 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, Mata has been a member of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang since approximately 2009.  As a member of the Latin Dragons, Mata was involved in shootings of suspected rival gang members and participated in trafficking firearms and drugs.  Mata also admitted responsibility for the 2012 murder of Kelly Vann in Chicago, Illinois.  A total of 19 members and associates have been charged as codefendants with racketeering conspiracy for their participation in various Latin Dragon Nation activity, and three are awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Chicago Police Department Criminal Enterprise Unit; the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; the Bartlett Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Merrillville Police Department; the Hobart Police Department; the Lake County Sheriff’s Department; and the Calumet City Police Department, with assistance from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office, the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, the Indiana Department of Corrections, and the Illinois Department of Corrections.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin F. Wolff and Michael J. Toth, and former Northern District of Indiana Assistant United States Attorney Joseph A. Cooley, with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Trial Attorney Hans Miller. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated August 30, 2022