Jail assault results in sentences for Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos gang members
LAREDO, Texas – Four men have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of assault with a dangerous weapon, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Gilbert Arevalo, 26, Laredo, pleaded guilty Feb. 28, while Antonio Cristian-Martinez, 22, McAllen, Orlando Flores-Duke, 27, an undocumented alien residing in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Jamie Pecina, 25, Laredo, pleaded guilty March 28.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana imposed a 120-month term of imprisonment for Arevalo for the assault. He had already received 87 months for an unrelated case. The sentence imposed today was ordered to be served consecutively to 60 out of the 87 months in the unrelated case for a total 180-month-term of imprisonment.
Cristian-Martinez, Flores-Duke and Pecina were previously sentenced to total prison terms of 97, 161 and 141 months.
At the hearing today, the court heard from the victim’s family who described the lasting and damaging impact the group had on not just the victim, but the entire family. At the hearing, the family said their lives have been changed forever as a result of the assault. Judge Saldana noted the violent nature of the offense and the general lack of care or regard for the life of the victim. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted the egregiousness of the offense and lack of humanity. Judge Saldana said she will never forget the harm the caused to the victim and family.
The four men were in custody awaiting their sentences for various charges at the Rio Grande Processing Center in Laredo.
On Nov. 10, 2021, Arevalo, Pecina and Flores-Duke had a verbal altercation with a fellow inmate. Shortly after, Cristian-Martinez joined argument and they attacked the victim with punches and kicks to the head and body.
The group left the victim severely injured and unconscious on the ground. As a result of the attack, the victim is now in a vegetative state and requires around-the-clock medical care.
All four will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Anthony G. Brown and AUSA Matthew Isaac prosecuted the case.