Mexican Mafia member sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in shooting death of police officer

Jerry Idrogo, 37, pleaded guilty for role in slaying of Officer Julian Pesina

SAN ANTONIO – A judge sentenced a Texas Mexican Mafia member Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison for his role in the shooting death of Balcones Heights police officer Julian Pesina, officials said.

In addition to the prison term, Jerry Idrogo, a former mafia sergeant, will be subject to five years of supervised release.

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Idrogo, 37, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge that included Pesina's May 4, 2014, slaying outside the officer's tattoo shop.

Related: Texas Mexican Mafia member pleads guilty in multiple murders

Another mafia member, Ruben Reyes, pleaded guilty in July 2016 to similar charges that included Pesina's murder and four others. Reyes is currently serving five consecutive life-imprisonment sentences. 

A federal jury found two other mafia members guilty earlier this month. Jesse Santibanez, 29, and Alfredo Cardona, 36, were convicted of one count of murder in aid of racketeering and one count of discharging a firearm during a murder in aid of racketeering.

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that acting upon an order by Reyes, Santibanez and Cardona shot and killed Pesina in front of his business, the Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio, on Hillcrest Drive.

Related: Texas Mexican Mafia members convicted in police officer's 2014 death

Testimony revealed that Pesina had claimed membership in the mafia, was selling narcotics and paying the "dime," a 10 percent street tax to the mafia, when mafia members learned that Pesina was a police officer. 

Idrogo contacted Pesina and arranged for pickup of the tax outside Pesina's tattoo shop, officials said. Just before meeting Pesina, Idrogo dropped off Santibanez and Cardona on the side of the building. 

Once Pesina walked up to the car and handed Idrogo the payment, Santibanez and Cardona came around the corner and shot Pesina, officials said.

All of the defendants remain in federal custody. 

Santibanez and Cardona each face a minimum mandatory sentence of life in federal prison. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2018.

About the Author

David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.

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