Life In Prison For New Mexico Gang Member

Apr 9, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico gang member has been sentenced to life in prison for a kidnapping that led to the death of a Texas teenager in 2005.

Federal prosecutors say 33-year-old Larry Lujan, of Chamberino, was sentenced Monday.

Lujan was convicted in August in the death of 16-year-old Dana "Joe" Grauke Jr. A federal jury in Las Cruces couldn't reach a unanimous decision on whether to impose the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Lujan targeted Grauke for attack because he failed to pay a $600 "tax" to Lujan for selling marijuana in a San Antonio neighborhood, an area that Lujan considered his "turf." Grauke's body was found in a New Mexico irrigation ditch on March 20, 2005.

The trial took place in federal court due to the interstate nature of the crime.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.