Three more Latin Kings to plead guilty
By Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com July 25, 2012 11:11AM
Updated: August 27, 2012 11:08AM
Three more Latin Kings defendants — including the two who are accused of killing rival gang members outside a Griffith restaurant in 2007 — will plead guilty to conspiring to racketeering.
The plea agreement, filed Tuesday evening in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, calls for Brandon Clay, of Chicago, to serve 30 years and Jason Ortiz, of Chicago, to serve 25 years in prison, and in return, the murder charges — six against Ortiz and nine against Clay — will be dropped
The government will also drop two gun-related charges and one drug trafficking charge.
The agreement calls for a 10-year prison sentence for the third defendant, Antonio Gudino. In return, the government will drop a drug trafficking charge.
The agreements come more than five years after James Walsh and Gonzalo Diaz, members of the rival gang Latin Dragons, were gunned down outside of a Griffith restaurant in February 2007. An indictment claimed that Ortiz and Clay shot the men on orders from Highland resident Alexander Vargas. The killings were in retaliation for the killing of Vargas’ brother, according to the indictment.
Clay, who was also charged with the murders of Edward Delatorre and Chrstina Campos in Chicago, admits in his plea agreement that he is responsible for the first degree murders of at least two victims.
Ortiz says in his agreement that he knows the government claims he committed multiple murders but maintains the right to contest how that affects his sentencing.
All three men admit responsibility for 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
At least 16 people have now pleaded guilty in the case.