WICHITA, KAN. (westernkansasnews.com) — Three members of a Dodge City street gang have been sentenced in a federal racketeering case, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Enrique Gobin, 24, Dodge City, was sentenced to 10 years.
Angel Cerda, 27, Dodge City, Kan., was sentenced to 78 months.
Jesus Torres, 29, Dodge City, Kan., was sentenced to 36 months
Gobin pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting attempted murder, which was a violent crime in aid of racketeering. In his plea, he admitted that on March 30, 2011, he was involved in the attempted murder of a Sureno gang member. On the day of the crime, Gobin was with two fellow members of the Diablos Viejos gang — Jesus Sanchez and Andrew Gusman — and an LCC gang member named Alfonso Banda-Hernandez. All four of them were affiliated with the Nortenos street gang. At the east Love’s convenience store in Dodge City they encountered George Gonzalez, who was a known member of the rival Sureno gang. The two sides exchanged gang signs and slurs.
The Nortenos left the store and divided themselves into two cars. Gobin and Sanchez were in one car, with Gobin driving. They returned to the area of the store and pursued a car in which Gonzalez was riding. Near 1602 6th Ave., Gonzalez got out of his car and ran up an alley toward his girlfriend?s residence. Sanchez fired at least two shots from a .40 caliber handgun at Gonzalez without hitting him.
Later, when officers of the Dodge City Police Department conducted a search of Gobin’s home, they found the gun used to shoot at Gonzalez.
Angel Cerda pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting attempted murder, which was a violent crime in aid of racketeering. He admitted he was involved in an Oct. 4, 2008, incident in which two people were shot. In his plea, Angel Cerda admitted he was a Diablos Viejos (DV) gang member associated with the Norteno street gang when he accompanied two co-defendants in an attack at the home of a member of the rival Sureno gang. On Oct. 4, 2008, Cerda and two co-defendants gathered in a barn behind a house at 10770 Kettle Way near Dodge City, which was a hangout for the gang. Later that day, Cerda and the two co-defendants drove to the home of Abel Hernandez, a known Sureno gang member, and Rumalda Hipolito. Outside the home, Hernandez’s brother and others were drinking beer. One of the Nortenos began harassing them and shouting Norteno slogans. After someone threw a beer bottle at the Nortenos’ car, Cerda and the two co-defendants drove away.
Cerda and his associates obtained a firearm, an SKS or AK-47 style weapon, and returned to Hernandez?s house, parking in an alley half a block away. They approached the house on foot where co-defendant Gonzalo Ramirez discharged multiple rounds from the firearm. The gunshots hit the house, striking Abel Hernandez and Rumalda Hipolito. Hipolito suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. Hernandez suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. Investigators found 19 bullet holes in the house and recovered 20 shell casings at the scene. After the shooting, Cerda and the two co-defendants returned to the house on Kettle Way, where they hid the car in the barn. Dodge City police arrested Cerda there.
Jesus Torres pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting assault with a dangerous weapon, which was a violent crime in aid of racketeering. In his plea, he admitted he was a member of the Diablos Viejos on Aug. 27, 2011, when he urged his Norteno associates to join him in an assault on a group of people he mistakenly believed were members of the Surenos, a rival gang. The assault took place at 703 E. 9th Avenue in Dodge City. During the fight, two people were stabbed, Gabriel Rivera and Carlos Ramirez. Rivera?s injuries were life-threatening, requiring a life-flight to a Wichita hospital.
The defendants were among 23 Norteno members to be indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2012. It was only the second time a federal RICO Act indictment (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) had been filed in Kansas.
Grissom commended the Dodge City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ford County Sheriff?s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch for their work on the case.