Federal and International, Law and Order

Newly Unsealed Federal Indictment Charges 4 Men with Committing Murders to Increase Positions in Violent Chicago Street Gang

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Four men sought to maintain and increase their positions in a violent Chicago street gang when they committed fatal shootings on the city’s Northwest Side, according to a newly unsealed federal indictment.

Charged with committing murder in aid of racketeering are HECTOR ROJAS, 26, JOSE MARTINEZ, 25, SANTO LOZOYA, 21, and PEDRO NAVARRO, 22, all of Chicago.  Navarro is also charged with committing two attempted murders in aid of racketeering.

The indictment was returned last month by a federal grand jury in Chicago, and it was ordered unsealed on May 9, 2019.  The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges.  U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly set a status hearing for June 20, 2019, at 1:30 p.m., in federal court in Chicago.

The defendants are members of the Milwaukee Kings street gang, according to the indictment.  All four defendants are currently in law enforcement custody. 

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeannice Appenteng and Jordan Matthews.

“Combating violent gangs like the Milwaukee Kings is a top priority in our office,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “With this indictment, we’ve taken a major step toward removing violent offenders from the streets of Chicago.”

“When gang members engage in drug trafficking and other violent crimes, fear is generated in our communities,” said SAC Sallet.  “This indictment demonstrates our commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to keep our streets safe.  Together we will remove armed, violent criminals from our neighborhoods and bring them to justice.”

The indictment alleges that the Milwaukee Kings is a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in narcotics trafficking and committed acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, and assault.  Members of the Milwaukee Kings boasted of the gang’s activities on social media, threatened violence against rival gang members, and took steps to prevent law enforcement’s detection of criminal activities, according to the indictment.

Navarro is accused in the indictment of murdering Xavier Soto on April 27, 2017, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing Navarro’s position in the gang.  Soto, 15, was fatally shot in the 4900 block of West George Street in Chicago’s Cragin neighborhood.  Navarro also attempted to murder two other individuals on the same day as the Soto killing, the indictment states.

Martinez and Lozoya are accused of killing Crispin Coliz on Dec. 16, 2016, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the gang, the indictment states.  Coliz, 28, was fatally shot in the 7200 block of West Grace Street in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood.

The indictment accuses Rojas of murdering Daniel Guerra on Sept. 2, 2015, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing Rojas’s position in the gang.  Guerra, 19, was fatally shot in the 5900 block of West Diversey Avenue in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Murder in aid of racketeering is punishable by a mandatory sentence of life in prison, and the death penalty is also possible.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

This is from a release from the United States Department of Justice.