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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

San Antonio Texas Mexican Mafia Member Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Role in Multiple Murders

In San Antonio this morning, 38-year-old Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) “Lieutenant of Lieutenants” Ruben Reyes (aka “Menace”) was sentenced to five consecutive life-in-federal-prison terms 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. 

In addition, Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra recommended that Reyes serve his prison term at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) “Supermax” facility in Florence, CO. 

On July 28, 2016, 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).

By pleading guilty, Reyes admitted to killing TMM member Ulysses Farias in front of his family in San Antonio on October 12, 2013, in order to improve standing in the TMM. According to court records, 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. 

Reyes also admitted to shooting and killing TMM “Captain” Mark Anthony Bernal (aka “Lefty”), TMM “General” Carlos Chapa (aka “Worm”), and TMM “Lieutenant of Lieutenants” Johnny Solis (aka “Smiley”) in San Antonio on January 13, 2014, 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. 

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.  Court records state 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 was aptly nicknamed.  The outstanding efforts of the investigators from the cooperating law enforcement agencies have removed this ‘menace’ from the streets and made San Antonio safer,” stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.

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. 

Violent Crime
Updated November 30, 2016