HAMMOND | An East Chicago man, indicted last year as part of an ongoing federal crackdown on street gangs, pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.
Raymond Campos admitted to being a member of the Imperial Gangsters gang and participating in the operation of that criminal enterprise through shootings and homicides, according to the U.S. attorneys office.
He pleaded guilty to murdering Steven Rodriguez in East Chicago on February 9, 2002. Rodriguez was 14 years old at the time.
The Rodriguez homicide is the 20th previously unsolved homicide the United States Attorney’s Office has charged in its ongoing efforts against organized street gangs, particularly the Imperial Gangsters and Latin Kings.
“It does not matter how long ago some of these homicides may have occurred," United States Attorney David Capp said. "We are actively investigating any number of cold homicides."
"It is our intention to keep the pressure on these organized street gangs and hold them accountable for their criminal acts, regardless of when they occurred," he said.
Campos also admitted to shooting a person July 13, 2003. That person suffered permanent or life-threatening bodily injury.
Campos struck a deal that calls for a sentence of no more than 30 years in return for his cooperation, according to court files.
If the sentence is not accepted by the court, Campos retains the right to withdraw his guilty plea.