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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Thursday, July 28, 2016

San Antonio Texas Mexican Mafia Member Admits Role in Multiple Murders

In San Antonio this afternoon, 38-year-old Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) “Lieutenant of Lieutenants” Ruben Reyes (aka “Menace”) pleaded guilty to all federal charges pending against him including responsibility for the murders of four TMM members and Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division. 

Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Pam Mathy, Reyes pleaded guilty to five counts of aiding and abetting the using and discharging of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and, five counts of violent crime (murder) in aid of racketeering (VICAR).

A factual basis filed in this case, which Reyes admitted in court today was true, states that Reyes killed TMM member Ulysses Farias in front of his family in San Antonio on October 12, 2013, in order to improve standing in the TMM. Reyes and TMM member Jerry Moreno carried out the execution based on concerns by TMM leadership that Farias was purportedly talking to federal authorities; and, despite being warned not to because it violated TMM rules, Farias took his wife with him on ”dime” collection runs.  The “dime” is a 10 percent tax imposed by the TMM on individuals who sell narcotics in their territory for assistance in collecting drug debts as well as a degree of protection from robbery and competing drug dealers. 

The factual basis also states that in San Antonio on January 13, 2014, Reyes shot and killed TMM “Captain” Mark Anthony Bernal (aka “Lefty”), TMM “General” Carlos Chapa (aka “Worm”), and TMM “Lieutenant of Lieutenants” Johnny Solis (aka “Smiley”) for their alleged mishandling of approximately $60,000 and making poor decisions in regards to the TMM daily operations.  Reyes subsequently transported and buried the bodies of Bernal, Chapa and Solis in Pearsall, TX.  The factual basis also states that on November 19, 2014, following a failed attempt by TMM members to murder him, Reyes led authorities to the burial site in Pearsall where the bodies of Bernal, Chapa and Solis were recovered.

By pleading guilty, Reyes also admitted responsibility for ordering the murder of Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina outside his “Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio” on May 4, 2014.  The factual basis states that although he was a police officer, Pesina was simultaneously claiming membership in the TMM, had tattoos consistent with such membership, and was selling drugs to TMM members.  Reyes, under orders from TMM leadership, ordered a TMM member, a TMM prospect, and another TMM member, who was not in good standing, to carry out the murder of Pesina.  The firearms used to kill Pesina were subsequently given to Reyes.

Reyes, who remains in federal custody, faces life in federal prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for 9:00am on September 2, 2016, before Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra in San Antonio.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI together with the San Antonio Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, Frio County Sheriff’s Department, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. 


Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated July 28, 2016