A 20-year-old Dodge City street gang member faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a hefty fine after assaulting those he thought were members of a different gang, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Humberto Ortiz pleaded guilty to a single count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering for his role in injuring at least two people on Aug. 27, 2011, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office said in a news release. During a party held in Dodge City, Ortiz and four others associated with the gang confronted the victims and accused them of being members of a rival gang. Ortiz’s group stabbed two victims; one was flown to a Wichita hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the news release.
Also in his plea, Ortiz admitted to repeatedly using violence, including murder and robbery, to expand and protect gang operations, Grissom’s office said. He faces up to a 20-year prison term and a $250,000 maximum fine for his role in August assault. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 28.
Four Dodge City men listed as co-defendants in the case are awaiting trial: Jason Najera, 28; Fabian Neave, 25; Jesus Torres, 28; and Jose Neave, 23. They are among 23 charged under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in a May indictment. It’s the second time federal prosecutors in Kansas have filed charges under the act and VICAR (Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering), Grissom’s office said.