Monday, May 13, 2013
The U.S. Attorney's Office says a member of a Dodge City street gang has pleaded guilty for his role in a federal racketeering case.
Russell Worthey, 24, pleaded guilty Monday in Wichita to one county of conspiracy to commit racketeering and one count of possessing and discharging a firearm in a crime of violence.
In his plea, Worthey admitted he was a member of the Norteno gang when he participated in the murder of Israel Peralta in June of 2009. Worthy admitted that on the day of the murder, he and co-defendant Anthony Wright along with two other members of the Nortenos returned to a trailer park on the south side of Dodge City where Worthey and Wright had spotted members of a rival gang, the Surenos.
When they spotted the Surenos, Wright parked the car and the two Nurtenos got out, chasing after the Surenos. Wright and Worthey followed behind. The two men in front fired shots, striking and killing Israel Peralta. A second man, Mariano Sorano was also hit by gun fire.
Worthey was one of 23 defendants indicted in May of 2012 under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced July 29.
Co-defendants who have already pleaded guilty include:
– Anthony Wright, who is set for sentencing July 8.
– Jose Neave, who is set for sentencing July 8.
– Jason Najera, who was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
– Humberto Ortiz, who was sentenced to 46 months.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom commended the Dodge City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for their work on the case.