HAMMOND | Charged in the recent sweeping Imperial Gangsters federal indictment, East Chicago’s Richard Reyes is requesting his day in court.
On Thursday, Reyes’ attorney, Jack Friedlander, filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Hammond requesting a trial. Reyes, 41, of East Chicago, who has been in the federal lockup since his arrest in November 2012, is objecting to any further delays in the adjudication of his case. The holdup has been a pending request by indicted Imperial Gangsters leader Juan Briseno for an 18-month delay to prepare for trial.
Reyes, the former dockmaster at the East Chicago Public Marina, is among 23 alleged Imperial Gangsters members charged in the indictment. Reyes is alleged to have committed homicides in five separate incidents in 2008 and 2009, according to court records. Specifically, Reyes is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to deal cocaine and marijuana, murder in the aid of racketeering activity and murder resulting from the use of a firearm.
In his petition to the court, Reyes claims his alleged criminal involvement in the case is “virtually non-existent” and there is “no evidence of his involvement in any crimes, outside of extremely unreliable statements of government cooperator.” Friedlander previously told The Times his client is innocent and being falsely accused.
Reyes contends that if the trial of his co-defendant, Briseno, is delayed for 18 months it will violate his own right to a speedy trial and due process. Unlike Briseno, Reyes’ case is not qualified as a death penalty case.
Reyes’ petition states he did not have a single arrest or legal trouble of any kind prior to his being named in the indictment.