A member of a Dodge City street gang targeted in a federal racketeering case has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for assaulting what he thought were members of a rival gang, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today in a press release.
A member of a Dodge City street gang targeted in a federal racketeering case has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for assaulting what he thought were members of a rival gang, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today in a press release. Humberto Ortiz, 20, Dodge City, pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. In his plea, Ortiz admitted that on Aug. 27, 2011 in Dodge City, he and other gang members assaulted what they thought were members of the Sureno street gang. At the time, Ortiz was a member of Los Carnales Chingones, a street gang in Dodge City associated with the Norteno street gang. He was accompanied by members of the Diablos Viejos, who also were associated with the Norteno gang. According to a press release from Grissom's office, during a confrontation at a party at 703 9th Avenue in Dodge City, Ortiz and four associates accused the victims of being Surenos, which the victims denied. When a fight began, two victims were stabbed. One of the victims, Gabriel Rivera, received life-threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital in Wichita for treatment. In his plea, Ortiz admitted that while he was an associate of the Nortenos the gang was engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise that employed acts of violence including murder and robbery to protect and expand the gang’s operations. Ortiz was initially charged in Ford County District Court for the offenses but the case was dismissed May 22, 2012. According to court records, the case was dismissed because Ortiz was indicted the previous week on charges stemming from the same incident. Another factor in the dismissal, the federal anti-shuttling statute, prohibits transport of a defendant from federal to state custody during pending trials in both jurisdictions. Co-defendants awaiting trial include Jason Najera, 28, Dodge City; Fabian Neave, 25, Dodge City; Jesus Torres, 28, Dodge City; and Jose Neave, 23, Dodge City. They were among 23 defendants indicted in May who were charged under the federal RICO Act (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.) The indictment marked only the second time federal prosecutors in Kansas have filed charges under RICO and VICAR (Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering). The remaining defendants, Ortiz, Najera, Fabian Neave and Jose Neave, were initially charged in Ford County for their involvement in the stabbing, the cases were dismissed May 22, 2012. According to court records, the cases were dismissed because all four men were indicted the previous week on federal charges stemming from the same incident. The federal anti-shuttling statute was again a factor in the dismissals. Grissom commended the Dodge City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch for their work on the case.