Texas Mexican Mafia member pleads guilty in multiple murders

Ruben 'Menace' Reyes pleads guilty to federal charges against him

SAN ANTONIO – A Texas Mexican Mafia member pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to all federal charges against him, including responsibility for the murders of four TMM members and a Balcones Heights police officer, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Ruben "Menace" Reyes has pleaded guilty in San Antonio to five counts of aiding and abetting the using and discharging of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and five counts of violent crime (homicide) in aid of racketeering, officials said.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office said Reyes killed TMM member Ulysses Farias in front of his family on Oct. 12, 2013, in San Antonio in order to improve standing in the TMM.

Reyes and TMM member Jerry Moreno carried out the execution based on concerns by TMM leadership that Farias was purportedly talking to federal authorities, and despite being warned not to because it violated TMM rules, Farias took his wife with him on "dime" collection runs, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The "dime" is a 10 percent tax imposed by the TMM on people who sell narcotics in their territory for help in collecting drug debts, as well as a degree of protection from robbery and competing drug dealers.

Reyes was accused of having shot and killed TMM "Captain" Mark "Lefty" Bernal, TMM "General" Carlos "Worm" Chapa and TMM "Lieutenant of Lieutenants" Johnny "Smiley" Solis on Jan. 13, 2014, for their alleged mishandling of $60,000 and "making poor decisions" in regard to TMM daily operations, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Reyes buried the bodies of Bernal, Chapa and Solis in Pearsall. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the factual basis also stated that on Nov. 19, 2014, following a failed attempt by TMM members to kill him, Reyes led authorities to the burial site in Pearsall, where the bodies of Bernal, Chapa and Solis were recovered.

Reyes also admitted responsibility for ordering the murder of Balcones Heights Officer Julian Pesina outside his Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio on May 4, 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Although he was a police officer, Pesina was simultaneously claiming membership in the TMM, had tattoos consistent with such membership and was selling drugs to TMM members, according to the factual basis.

Under orders from TMM leadership, Reyes ordered a TMM member, a TMM prospect and another TMM member who was not in good standing to carry out the murder of Pesina, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. The firearms used to kill Pesina were given to Reyes.

Reyes faces life in federal prison and remains in federal custody, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 2.

About the Author

Troy Blevins is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since 2012.

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