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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Texas Mexican Mafia Members in Connection with the Death of Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In San Antonio today, federal authorities arrested 26-year-old Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) member Jesse Santibanez without incident.  A federal grand jury yesterday indicted Santibanez and fellow TMM members Jerry Idrogo, age 34, and Alfredo Cardona, age 36, in connection with the death of Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina last year announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

The indictment, unsealed today, charges the defendants with one count of using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.  The indictment alleges that the defendants knowingly used and discharged a firearm in relation to the murder of Pesina.  On May 4, 2014, Pesina’s body was discovered in front of his business, the Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio located on Hillcrest Drive.

Court documents allege that Pesina had claimed membership in the TMM, and was selling narcotics and paying the “dime” (the 10% street tax) to the TMM, when the TMM learned from Pesina’s Facebook page that he was a police officer.  On May 4, 2014, Idrogo contacted Pesina and arranged for pickup of the “dime” outside of Pesina’s tattoo shop.  Just before meeting Pesina, Idrogo dropped off Santibanez and Cardona on the side of the building.  Once Pesina walked up to the car and handed Idrogo the “dime” payment money, Santibanez and Cardona shot and killed Pesina.

Santibanez remains in federal custody following his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon.  Idrogo, Cardona were already in custody prior to today on related State charges.  Initial appearances in federal court for Idrogo and Cardona have yet to be scheduled.  Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum of ten years and up to life in federal prison upon conviction.

This indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the FBI together with the San Antonio Police Department.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated June 4, 2015

Violent Crime