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Two members of Mexican Mafia sentenced to life for killing of Texas cop

August 18, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Two members of Mexican Mafia sentenced to life for killing of Texas cop

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Two members of the Mexican Mafia were handed life sentences in San Antonio Federal Court this week for their roles in the killing of a Texas cop.

According to News4SanAntonio, 37-year-old Alfredo Cardona, and 30-year-old Jesse Santibanez were sentenced to life in federal prison on Wednesday for the 2014 shooting death of Balcones Heights Police officer Julian Pesina.

Both men were convicted in November of one count of murder in aid of racketeering and one count of discharging a firearm during a murder in aid of racketeering.

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that revealed the defendants acted on an order by Mexican Mafia member, Ruben Reyes aka “Menace.”

Reyes was handed five consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty in July 2016 to similar charges including Pesina’s murder.

The two Mexican Mafia members were sentenced to life in federal prison for the 2014 murder of Balcones Heights police officer Julian Pesina, pictured above.

Feds say Santibanez and Cardona ambushed and fatally shot Pesina on May 4, 2014, in front of his tattoo business in Balcones Heights.

Pesina, also a member of the Texas Mexican Mafia, was distributing narcotics and paying a 10 percent street tax called the “dime” to the criminal organization.

Jerry Idrogo, a top gang lieutenant was sentenced in November to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge that included his role in Pesina’s slaying.

Prosecutors said Idrogo contacted Pesina to collect the tax outside his tattoo shop when he dropped off Santibanez and Cardona on the side of the building.

Federal officials said when Pesina walked up to the vehicle and handed Idrogo the “dime” payment, Santibanez and Cardona came around the corner and opened fire on Pesina.

Before his sentencing, Santibanez read a short statement, apologizing to family and friends while maintaining his innocence.

“I ask for mercy on my behalf, that punishment be fair,” Santibanez said.

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