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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Texas Mexican Mafia Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Death of Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina

In San Antonio today, United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez sentenced former Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) Sergeant Jerry Idrogo to 20 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in the murder of Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina in 2014.


United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw; and, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus made that announcement this afternoon.


On August 11, 2016, Idrogo, age 37, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge that included Pesina’s murder.  Another TMM member, Ruben Reyes, previously pleaded guilty to similar charges that included this murder and four others.  Reyes is currently serving five consecutive life-imprisonment sentences.  Earlier this month, a federal jury convicted two other TMM members, 29-year-old Jesse Santibanez and 36-year-old Alfredo Cardona of one count of murder in aid of racketeering and one count of discharging a firearm during a murder in aid of racketeering. 


Evidence presented during trial revealed that acting upon an order by Reyes, Santibanez and Cardona murdered Pesina on May 4, 2014, in front of his business, the Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio, located on Hillcrest Drive. 


Testimony during trial revealed that Pesina had claimed membership in the TMM, was selling narcotics and paying the “dime” (the 10% street tax) to the TMM, when the TMM learned that Pesina was a Balcones Heights 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 came around the corner and shot and killed Pesina.


All of the defendants remain in federal custody.  Santibanez and Cardona each face a minimum mandatory sentence of life in federal prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for February 8, 2018, before Judge Rodriguez. 


The FBI together with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. 

Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Updated November 29, 2017