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Street gang member admits to role in two 2017 homicides including 10-year-old
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Street gang member admits to role in two 2017 homicides including 10-year-old

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Courts

A Lake Criminal Court judge sentenced a Michigan City man Friday to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting an 18-year-old man and wounding another after a fight last spring in Merrillville.

HAMMOND — A Chicago man with ties to a Northwest Indiana street gang has admitted he helped kill a 10-year-old and a 22-year-old man in separate 2017 gang shootings.

Join Cpl. Jerry Patrick, as he patrols the hallways of Lake Central and Kahler Middle School.

Justin Anaya, 20, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last week to a federal racketeering charge that he was a member of the Latin Dragon Nation.

Anaya was one of 19 a federal grand jury first indicted in 2017 on allegations they trafficked in illicit drug and gun trafficking for the Latin Dragon Nation, which operates in Chicago, Hammond and other parts of the Region.

Anaya had faced trial in January in U.S. District Court on charges that carried a potential life sentence.

Anaya recently signed a plea agreement in which he gave up his right to make the government prove the charges against him in return for a more lenient sentence.

The plea agreement states Anaya and the government agree that Anaya must serve a 35-year prison term. His sentencing date is yet to be scheduled.

Anaya admitted in his 9-page agreement that he was driving a stolen car July 14, 2017, near Chicago’s Calumet Park with a fellow gang member when they spotted opposition gang members in a nearby SUV.

The other gang member fired a volley of gunshots into that car that killed 10-year-old Gustavo Garcia.

Four months later, Anaya was riding in another gang-related search and kill mission when a fellow gang member killed 22-year-old Manuel Salazar.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John E Martin presided over Anaya’s change of plea hearing. The magistrate is recommending the court accept Anaya’s guilty plea.

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