Documents: Balcones Heights officer killed by gang for being cop while claiming to be gang member

Court records allege Julian Pesina was selling drugs for Texas Mexican Mafia

SAN ANTONIO – It's been nearly three years since Balcones Heights police Officer Julian Pesina was shot to death in an ambush set up by the Texas Mexican Mafia.

Pesina was off duty when he was gunned down outside a tattoo and piercing studio he co-owned located in the 1200 block of Babcock Road on May 4, 2014.

Federal court documents filed last week reveal new information about why Pesina, a self proclaimed member of the notorious prison gang, was executed by its leaders.

The documents, part of the federal government's case against Pesina murder suspects Alfredo Cardona and Jesse Santibanez, allege Pesina was selling drugs to TMM members before he was ambushed.

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The documents state Pesina claimed to be a TMM member "who had not reported to the gang in 6 years." The gang's leadership levied a $6,000 fine against Pesina. According to the documents Pesina then began reporting to the Northside TMM leadership including gang sergeant Jerry Idrogo and lieutenant Ruben Reyes.
The government contends after that Pesina "began selling drugs to TMM members" and also paid the 10 percent street tax known as the "dime."

The documents state Idrogo once took Pesina with him to collect the "dime" from other local drug dealers and one them identified Pesina as a cop. Idrogo gave the information to Reyes who investigated the claim.

When questioned, Pesina reportedly gave two different stories on how he became a member of the gang and began getting TMM tattoos, "which are forbidden unless you are a confirmed member," the documents state.

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Pesina proudly displayed his gang style tattoos on his public Facebook profile. Those tattoos began raising the suspicions of Pesina's fellow BHPD officers who took their concerns to their chief but no action was taken.

The court records state Reyes passed the information about Pesina's job as an officer on to his superiors in the gang who then ordered Pesina's murder.

Reyes told Idrogo to put a team together for the murder and he tapped Cardona, a gang prospect, and Santibanez, a member in bad standing who owed a favor, to be the gunmen.

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The three men "studied Pesina's routine and even dug a hole in which to bury him" before the fatal encounter.

On the night of the murder the documents say Idrogo called Pesina to arrange picking up his weekly "dime" payment.

Before meeting Pesina in front of his tattoo shop, Idrogo dropped off Cardona and Santibanez on the side of the building and they ambushed Pesina after he gave his "dime" payment to Idrogo. Pesina was gunned down with a shotgun and handgun.

The trio fled the location and "drove to Cardona's girlfriend's apartment where they changed clothes, wiped down the firearms and placed everything in bags." The documents say "the clothes were burned and the firearms were give to Reyes for destruction."

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The crime was caught on the store's video surveillance system and an undercover surveillance camera set up by the FBI which was investigating Pesina.

Cardona and Santibanez are being offered 30 year sentences with five years of supervised release in exchange for guilty pleas.

Jerry Idrogo plead guilty to his role in the murder last year and is waiting to learn what his sentence will be.
Ruben Reyes plead guilty to several murders he committed for the TMM, including Pesina's. A federal judge handed him five life sentences in December.

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