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Imperial Gangster plans to plead guilty to racketeering, murder

Updated: December 27, 2013 8:16PM



Another Imperial Gangster is pleading guilty to racketeering and murder.

Julian Guillermo Serna, 24, of Munster, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to murder resulting from the use of a deadly weapon during a violent crime, according to a plea agreement filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

That sentence must be served consecutively to any sentence he receives for also pleading guilty to conspriacy to racketeer. He faces up to life in prison.

The murder count is connected to Mario Soriano, who Serna now admits he killed on March 25, 2008, in Hammond.

The plea calls for both sides to argue at sentencing whether Serna committed first-degree murder versus second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Serna is also admitting he helped traffic 40 to 60 kilograms of drugs.

Serna’s plea would mean just six of the more than 20 Imperial Gangsters originally charged in the racketeering case, in which federal attorneys say the gang killed at least a dozen people during the past decade to help control their drug trafficking, are set to go on trial Jan. 13.

All but one of the other defendants has pleaded guilty in the case. One defendant, Juan Briseno, will stand trial alone in April because he is charged with the killings of six people and federal attorneys have said they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

A change of hearing for Serna had not been set by Friday afternoon.



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