Kansas gang member could get 10 years




Special to The Telegram

WICHITA — A member of a Dodge City street gang charged in a federal racketeering case has pleaded guilty to attempted murder, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Tuesday.

Jason Najera, 29, of Dodge City pleaded guilty to attempted murder in furtherance of racketeering. In his plea, he admitted that on Aug. 27, 2011, he used a knife to stab two men he mistakenly believed were members of a rival gang, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

On that day, Najera accompanied co-defendant Humberto Ortiz to 703 Ninth Ave. in Dodge City, where they confronted some men they thought were members of the Surenos street gang. Ortiz was a member of Los Carnales Chingones, and Najera was a member of Diablos Viejos, both of which were associated with the Nortenos street gang and considered Surenos their common enemies.

After a fight started, Najera used a knife to stab Gabriel Rivera and Carlos Ramirez, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Rivera had to be airlifted to a Wichita hospital because of his injuries.

Najera admitted in his plea that as a member of the Diablos Viejos, he was part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy involving the Nortenos street gang, whose members used murder, robbery, assault and acts of violence to protect and expand their operations.

Sentencing for Najera is scheduled for May 6. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Last month, Ortiz was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison.

Najera and Ortiz were among 23 defendants indicted in May under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The cases were investigated by the Dodge City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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