Gang member to plead guilty to murder, racketeering
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org January 3, 2014 1:44PM
Updated: February 5, 2014 6:03AM
Another East Chicago gang member is admitting his role in a criminal enterprise and the murder of two people.
In exchange for Vincent Garza pleading guilty to one count of racketeering and two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, federal attorneys will recommend he serve no more than 27 years in prison, according to a plea agreement filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Hammond.
If the judge were to reject a sentence of 27 years or less, Garza can withdraw his guilty plea.
Garza, who was the last of the 24 Imperial Gangsters defendants to be charged in the racketeering case, is admitting he played a part in the killings of Micahael Sessum and Miguel Mejias, who were shot dead in 2008 outside an East Chicago apartment.
Garza’s plea deal means just five co-defendants remain to stand trial Jan. 13. All but one of the other co-defendants have pleaded guilty.
Juan Briseno, charged with killing six people, including Sessum and Mejias, will be tried separately in April. Federal attorneys have said if Briseno is convicted, they will seek the death penalty.