Government won't seek death penalty for some in gang case

2013-07-02T20:28:00Z 2013-07-02T21:29:05Z Government won't seek death penalty for some in gang caseElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday in federal court stating the government will not seek the death penalty against four defendants in the Imperial Gangsters racketeering case.

The defendants are Julian G. "Big Ju" Serna, of Munster; Ace Cortez and Richard Reyes, both of East Chicago; and Jason "Burns" Medina, according to the motion. The men are among 20 alleged gang members named in the federal case.

Medina, Cortez, Serna and Reyes face racketeering conspiracy charges, conspiracy of possessing and distributing cocaine and marijuana and murder charges.

Cortez is accused of shooting someone on Oct. 27, 2002, and a rival gang member on July 24, 2004, according to an indictment.

Medina is accused of killing a rival gang member on July 24, 2005, according to court records. He's also accused of attempted murder of someone that appears to have a connection to the case.

Reyes is accused of killing a rival gang member on Sept. 1, 2007, according to court records.

Serna is accused of killing a member of a faction of the gang on March 25, 2008, according to court records. He's also accused of being part of an armed robbery on Feb. 22, 2011.

In March, prosecutors filed a motion stating the government would seek the death penalty against Juan "Tito" Briseno if found guilty of murder in aid of racketeering and firearm murder.

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