(CBS) — Ten more members of a violent street gang have been charged with a spree of crimes in Chicago and Northwest Indiana; including murder, attempted murder, drug dealing, illegal weapons possession, and racketeering conspiracy.
One of the latest murder charges stems from a drive-by shooting in 2017 that killed a 10-year-old boy.
The indictment against the Latin Dragon Nation members was announced by Northern Indiana U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch on Friday. Today’s indictment means 17 members of the gang have been charged with a variety of crimes, including a total of 11 murders.
Federal investigators say the Latin Dragon Nation is a criminal street gang that originated in Chicago and spread to other areas, including the Northern District of Indiana.
“Gang members should not get comfortable in the Northern District of Indiana. We will never tolerate gang violence,” Kirsch said. “Gangs terrorize our neighborhoods and put innocent lives at grave risk.”
The 10 additional defendants charged in the 14-count indictment are Ralph Daniel Mendez, 44, of Chicago; Javier Aguilera, 26, of Chicago; Jonathan Arevalo, 26, of Gary, Indiana; Nico Mata, 25, of Hammond, Indiana; Alec Nathaniel Aguilar, 20, of Chicago; Justin Anaya, 18, of Chicago; Keenan Seymour, 19, of Chicago,; David White, 24, of Chicago; Tiffany Barragan, 21, of Chicago; and Angelina Vilella, 20, of Chicago.
Five members face charges in four Chicago murder cases from 2017.
Mendez, Jr., is charged with killing Jose Gomez on May 23, 2017.
Mendez, Jr., and David White are charged with the murder of Mike Whitford on July 14, 2017.
Anaya and Aguilar are alleged to have killed 10-year-old Gustavo Garcia on July 14, 2017. Garcia, was a passenger in a pickup truck that was near East 95th Street and Avenue N when a grey sedan drove up and fired shots.
“Once they’re found guilty, it doesn’t take away [the family’s] pain,” community activist Andrew Holmes told CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross. “Now it’s time to follow through in court and let the chips fall where they may.”
Anaya, Aguilar, and Seymour are alleged to have killed Manuel Salazar on November 24, 2017.
In addition, two previously charged members of the gang were accused of murder in two new cases. Prosecutors had charged seven other members of the gang in an earlier indictment.
Eduardo Diaz-Corral of Calumet City and Manuel Diaz of Hammond allegedly participated in the murders of Paul Cruz on November 20, 2016, in Chicago, and Charles Berrios on September 30, 2017, in Hammond.
Cruz, 31, was outside in the 10300 block of South Avenue M when a dark-colored SUV pulled up and someone inside fired shots, according to police. Cruz was shot in the abdomen and pronounced dead at the scene.