Racketeering case sends Dodge City gang member to prison

A member of a Dodge City street gang targeted in a racketeering case was sentenced Monday in a Wichita federal court to 46 months in prison for assaulting what he thought were members of a rival gang.

Humberto Ortiz, 20, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office said.

In his plea, Ortiz admitted that on Aug. 27, 2011 in Dodge City, he and other gang members assaulted what they thought were members of the Sureno street gang. At the time, Ortiz was a member of Los Carnales Chingones, a street gang in Dodge City associated with the Norteno street gang. He was accompanied by members of the Diablos Viejos, who also were associated with the Norteno gang.

During a confrontation at a party at in Dodge City, Ortiz and four associates accused the victims of being Surenos, which the victims denied. When a fight began, two victims were stabbed. One of the victims received life-threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital in Wichita for treatment.

Ortiz admitted in his plea that while he was an associate of the Nortenos, the gang was engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise that employed acts of violence including murder and robbery to protect and expand the gang’s operations.

Co-defendants awaiting trial include Jason Najera, 28, of Dodge City; Fabian Neave, 25, of Dodge City; Jesus Torres, 28, of Dodge City; and Jose Neave, 23, of Dodge City. They were among 23 defendants indicted in May who were charged under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.