(STL.News) – Gustavo Mata, 28, has been charged with murder in aid of racketeering in a criminal complaint, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 1, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois, Gustavo Mata shot and killed Kelly Vann, age 49, who was mistakenly believed to be a rival gang member, in order to increase his position in the Latin Dragon street gang. The Latin Dragon Nation is a criminal street gang that originated in Chicago and spread to other areas, including the Northern District of Indiana. Members and associates of the Latin Dragon Nation allegedly engage in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, witness tampering, and assault, to protect the gang’s power, territory, and operations.
“Gang violence, like the acts charged today, will not be tolerated and will be aggressively prosecuted by my office,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “Senseless acts of gang violence like this have to stop and until they do, we will continue to pursue those who engage in these acts.”
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that a criminal complaint is merely an allegation and that all persons are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Chicago Police Department Criminal Enterprise Unit; the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; the Bartlett Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Merrillville Police Department; the Hobart Police Department; the Lake County Sheriff’s Department; and the Calumet City Police Department, with assistance from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office, the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, the Indiana Department of Corrections, and the Illinois Department of Corrections. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph A. Cooley and Kevin Wolff and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Toth, with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section Trial Attorney Hans Miller.