Imperial Gangster pleads guilty in racketeering case

2013-12-27T21:30:00Z Imperial Gangster pleads guilty in racketeering caseSusan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
December 27, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Munster man admitted to murder and conspiracy to participate in racketeering in a plea agreement filed Friday in federal court.

Julian Serna, one of about 20 alleged members of the Imperial Gangsters gang facing federal racketeering charges, had been charged with murder, racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy of possessing and distributing cocaine and marijuana.

Serna is accused of killing a gang member in 2008 and being part of an armed robbery in 2011.

According to the plea agreement, Serna faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison on the murder charge for which the maximum sentence is life in prison.

The term would be consecutive to a maximum life sentence on the conspiracy charge.

At the sentencing hearing, the government will argue the homicide of Mario Soriano qualifies as first-degree murder. However, Serna's defense will be free to argue the homicide was instead second-degree murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

Serna also admitted to being responsible for at least 40 but less than 60 kilograms of marijuana, the court records state.

In July, prosecutors dropped the possibility of a death sentence in the case.

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