Eight members of Two Six gang indicted
By Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com August 21, 2014 11:30AM
US Attorney David Capp outlines an indictment on Federal RICO charges against the Two Six Gang in East Chicago on August 22, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 23, 2014 2:02AM
Eight members of a Northwest Indiana street gang face racketeering and drug trafficking charges in a federal indictment that claims they regularly moved hundreds of pounds of drugs, often at the direction of a leader based in Mexico, and killed at least two people.
The indictment charges four members and four associates of the Two Six gang based in East Chicago with two decades of crimes that include homicides, numerous robberies of other drug dealers, kidnappings and shootings at police.
This is the third racketeering indictment involving members of Northwest Indiana street gangs during the past five years. Two others were brought against members of the Latin Kings and the Imperial Gangsters.
During a news conference Friday in East Chicago, U.S. Attorney David Capp said the federal racketeering law, known as RICO, is designed to attack dangerous criminal organizations.
“We are going to continue to use this powerful tool to get these criminal individuals off the street,” he said.
Capp said gang members often deal drugs and weapons back and forth across state borders, making it necessary for local, state and federal authorities to work together.
One of the defendants, Frank Perez Jr., 33, of Verona, Pennsylvania, made news when he was arrested in 2011 in western Pennsylvania after a shootout with police who sought him in the 1999 killing of Juan Pena Jr., whom Perez believed was a rival gang member in Whiting. Perez is charged in the indictment with murdering Pena in aid of racketeering.
Perez and co-defendant Anthony C. Aguilera, 35, of Portage, were originally charged in Lake County in Pena’s murder soon after it happened but Perez wasn’t arrested at the time. Police almost caught him in 2004 in Highland, but he escaped.
FBI agents finally tracked Perez in 2011 to a house in Pennsylvania, where he fired shots at them for about 15 minutes but eventually surrendered.
Aguilera, who pleaded guilty in 2006 for his role in Pena’s murder, was charged in the new indictment with racketeering, along with Perez, Jesus V. Fuentes, 39, of Gary, and Adron H. Tancil, 36, of East Chicago.
They and four Two Six associates — Oscar Cosme, 41, of East Chicago; Ester Carrera, 61, of Gary; Paul Brock, 27, of Gary; and Alma Delia Carrera, 28, of Gary — are also charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy. Alma Carrera is Fuentes’ sister, and Ester Carrera is their mother, authorities said.
Capp said those indicted are leaders of the Two Six gang in Northwest Indiana, but he would not say how large the gang is locally.
The indictment also charges Fuentes and Cosme with murder in the 2002 shooting death of Julio Cartagena in East Chicago, although those charges were part of an earlier indictment.
Most of the defendants were already in custody, although three were arrested Thursday evening and Friday morning. Alma Carrera and Brock made their initial court appearances Friday. It was unclear when the others would appear in court.
Along with the two homicides, the indictment alleges that the defendants committed numerous crimes since 1992, including stealing 2,000 pounds of marijuana from a semi truck in April 1999, firing shots at Gary police officers in October 1999, kidnapping a rival drug dealer in Texas in December 1999 and stealing 7 kilograms of cocaine in 2009 when they were supposed to be buying the drugs.
The defendants and other Two Six members also stole from each other, according to the indictment. It says Aguilera and Perez stole 1,000 pounds of the 2,000 pounds of marijuana stolen in April 1999 along with $80,000 from Fuentes because they didn’t think Fuentes had paid them enough for their part in the original heist.
A shipment of 50 kilograms of cocaine from a Mexican cartel went missing in September 2002, and Fuentes, who was operating at that point from Mexico, decided that a fellow gang member, Cartagena, took it, the indictment says. It alleges that Fuentes directed other gang members to place a tracker on Cartagena’s car and to later kidnap his children and their mother from a home in Hammond. The family escaped, however.
Fuentes ordered Cartagena kidnapped, but when Tancil, Cosme and gang members Kiontay Pennington and Louis Henderson attempted to do so, they shot and killed Cartagena on May 2003 in East Chicago, according to the indictment. It says a police chase ensued, and the suspects’ car crashed, killing Henderson, who was driving.
The other three were charged a year ago in Cartagena’s murder. Pennington has pleaded guilty and was not charged in the federal indictment.