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Feds indict hitman for Mexican Mafia for the 2014 murder of Texas cop

April 1, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Feds indict hitman for Mexican Mafia for the 2014 murder of Texas cop

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U.S. Federal prosecutors have unsealed a murder racketeering indictment against a reputed hitman for the Mexican Mafia in connection with the planned execution hit of a police officer in Texas.

The indictment accuses 36-year-old Ruben “Menace” Reyes, for the 2014 slaying of 29-year-old Balcones Heights police officer Julina Pesina.

Prosecutors allege the Pesina hit was just one of numerous overtly violent criminal acts Reyes stands accused of committing as part of a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy linked to the violent street gang.

At a closed door meeting in September, Reyes admitted to committing 16 killings for the gang but stopped short of providing specific names of the murder victims.

Federal investigators also suspect Reyes of committing 35 gangland slayings on behalf of the gang.

The indictment accuses Reyes of being the alleged triggerman in the shooting deaths of three high-ranking members of the Texas Mexican Mafia and also passing down the order targeting the slain police officer.

Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina was off-duty when he was shot on May 4, 2014

Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina was off-duty when he was shot on May 4th, 2014

According to the Houston Chronicle, Pesina had surfaced on the feds radar and became the subject of an FBI investigation into drug dealing, prompting agents to set up a surveillance operation using a pole-mounted video camera to monitor the officer.

Authorities said Pesina was gunned down while off duty on May 4th, 2014 as he delivered a street tax imposed by the gang, outside his tattoo shop.

Until Friday’s indictment, officials didn’t mention Pesina’s murder in previous charges against Reyes.

Federal prosecutors have also charged three other reputed Mexican Mafia members in connection with Pesina’s killing including “Jerry “Spook” Idrogo, 34; Alfredo “Freddy Low” Cardona, 36; and 26-year-old Jesse “Jay” Santibanez.

All four gang members now face up to life-in-prison if convicted. Justice Department officials have yet to determine whether federal or local prosecutors would pursue the death penalty in the case.

Additionally, authorities suspect Reyes in the 2013 murder of 44-year-old Julie Ann Rodriguez, who was gunned down in the driveway of her home the day before she was set to testify against the Mexican Mafia’s reputed “captain of captains,” Martin B. Balboa, 45, in a cold-case murder trial, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Alfred Cardona, 36, and Jerry Idrogo, 34, are suspected of killing Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina

Alfred Cardona, 36, and Jerry Idrogo, 34, are suspected of killing Balcones Heights Police Officer Julian Pesina

Federal authorities later indicted Balboa, who currently awaits trial on drugs and weapons charges.

Furthermore, law enforcement officials suspect Reyes’ involvement in the Oct. 2014 shooting deaths of 45-year-old Ernest Ibarra, 45, and 43-year-old Jacob Gonzales.

A U.S. District Court Judge recently postponed Reyes’ case for months so prosecutors can request guidance from the Justice Department on how to proceed.

Reyes is charged with using and discharging a firearm during a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. His case is part of a larger racketeering investigation of the gang.

According to court records, Reyes went to the San Antonio Police Department seeking protection after he was shot on Nov. 9, 2014, as part of an apparent hit ordered by imprisoned gang bosses.

Reyes confessed to the FBI and SAPD to several murders and assisted in finding the bodies of three victims: Texas Mexican Mafia general Carlos “Worm” Chapa, Captain Mark Anthony “Lefty” Bernal, and “lieutenant of lieutenants” Johnny “Smiley” Solis, in a makeshift grave in Pearsall.

The three gang members were allegedly killed for mishandling $60,000, of illicit drug money, according to court records.

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