Cop, gang member testify in Latin King member’s murder trial
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org September 20, 2012 3:36PM
Updated: October 22, 2012 6:22AM
The trial of a Chicago man accused of racketeering and murder continued Thursday with evidence about two murders, including one in East Chicago.
Hammond resident Oscar Gonzalez took the stand at the criminal trial of Martin Anaya in U.S. District Court in Hammond, telling the federal jury about how he sold at least 1,000 pounds of marijuana as a member of the Latin Kings street gang.
Gonzalez, who has already pleaded guilty in the case along with a majority of the 23 defendants, said that Highland resident and regional leader for the Latin Kings Alexander Vargas was one of the biggest drug dealers in the gang, dealing in even larger amounts than himself.
He also testified about how, while in Hammond on May 25, 2008, he received a call from other gang leaders ordering him to go to a bar in East Chicago where rival gang members were having a party and to start shooting.
Someone gave him a 9mm Glock, and he and co-defendant Gabriel Jalomos sneaked through an alley to start shooting at people walking outside the bar. Jalomos shot two people, killing Jose Cortez. Gonzalez said he fired shots but didn’t hit anyone.
Anaya is not specifically charged in the Cortez killing, although it is part of the racketeering conspiracy. He is charged in the death of Christina Campos in April 2009, however, and several Chicago police officers testified Thursday about that case. Federal attorneys showed the jury dozens of pictures related to the scene, including the spot where Campos was shot and killed as she stood between two cars parked parallel on Hoxie Avenue by the intersection with 108th Street.
Chicago Police Department Detective Richard Hanrahan said police soon targeted Latin Kings members as the shooters and started searching for a blue minivan that witnesses reported seeing flee from the scene. The minivan turned up in the area of the Latin Kings’ Bush neighborhood and bore at least six fresh bullet holes and two shot-out windows, Hanrahan said.
Hanrahan said under cross-examination by Anaya’s attorney, Adam Tavitas, that it appeared Anaya was then living in Bourbonnais, Ill., about 45 minutes south of Chicago. However, a security video from a liquor store near where the minivan was found and taken a day or two before the shooting shows Anaya with several other people also supposedly in the van during the shooting.