A Dodge City gang member has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit assaults with dangerous weapons in connection with a federal racketeering case, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Alfonso Banda-Hernandez, 21, Dodge City, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit assaults with dangerous weapons, which were violent crimes in aid of racketeering. In his plea, he admitted he was a member of the Los Carnales Chingones gang affiliated with the Norteno gang on March 30, 2011, when he conspired to commit an assault with a firearm against George Gonzalez; and in April 2010 when he conspired to commit an assault with a beer bottle against a member of a rival gang.
In his plea, Banda-Hernandez admitted that on March 30, 2011, he and three other Norteno gang members encountered a Sureno gang member named George Gonzalez at a Love’s convenience store in Dodge City. Banda-Hernandez and the other Nortenos began throwing gang signs at Gonzalez and attempting to start a fight. Later that day, they again encountered Gonzalez and chased his car. One of the Nortenos fired shots at Gonzalez’s car.
Banda-Hernandez also admitted that in April 2010 he was with other Norenos when they encountered a member of the rival Sureno street gang in an alley in Dodge City. During a fight, one of the Nortenos used a beer bottle to strike a Sureno gang member in the head, injuring him.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 30. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Banda-Hernandez was one of 23 Norteno members indicted in May 2012. It was only the second time a federal RICO Act indictment (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) had been filed in Kansas. Banda-Hernandez is the thirteenth defendant in the case to enter a guilty plea.
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 Lanny Welch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for their work on the case.