Lansing, Chicago men plead to conspiracy charge in gang case
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org July 13, 2012 3:36PM
Updated: September 13, 2012 4:54PM
Two Latin Kings members, including a man from Lansing, are pleading guilty in a federal racketeering case.
David Lira, of Lansing, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to racketeer in exchange for 15 years in prison, according to documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Ind.
Another gang member, Sisto Bernal, of Chicago, faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison for pleading guilty to one count each of conspiracy to racketeer, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 150 kilograms of cocaine and interfering with commerce with threats of violence, according to the agreement.
Bernal and Lira were charged with more than 20 other defendants last fall in a superseding indictment accusing them with taking part in the criminal activity of the Latin Kings in Lake County, Ind., and the Chicago area for more than a decade, which included killing 19 people and dealing in thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana. The indictment claimed that Bernal made a trip with several other defendants to a Latin Kings branch in Texas, where he threatened the members there to follow order or be “smashed.” It also said he ordered a drive-by shooting in 2009 in Texas, in which two people, including a pregnant woman, died.
As part of both agreements, the men will take responsibility for possessing 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of pot.