HAMMOND, Ind.(STMW) – Another East Chicago man pleaded guilty to taking part in the racketeering conspiracy by the Imperial Gangsters’ drug trafficking operation.
During his change of plea hearing Friday afternoon at U.S. District Court in Hammond, Michael Anthony Castillo, 22, also pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
Although he pleaded guilty to just those two charges, Castillo also admitted that he shot and killed a rival gang member and on a separate night shot three people after they got into a fight. Castillo was already convicted of reckless homicide in Lake County in connection to the shooting death and is serving eight years on the charge.
Castillo’s plea deal calls for a binding sentence of 10 years in prison. If U.S. District Judge Philip Simon rejects the deal, Castillo can withdraw his guilty plea.
His deal means just seven defendants of the 23 charged in the case are still set to go on trial in October. Another defendant who faces the death penalty, Juan Briseno, will be tried separately in April. The rest have pleaded guilty.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)