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Seventh Street Gang member admits roles in two killings

A Seventh Street Gang member admitted Monday to killing a West Side man over a failed drug deal.

Jordan Hidalgo, as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, said he killed Raquan Lloyd in November 2008 after Lloyd used counterfeit money to buy marijuana from him.

Hidalgo, a relative of Seventh Street Gang leader Efrain “Cheko” Hidalgo, also admitted taking part in the murder of rival 10th Street gang member Eric Morrow two years earlier.

He will face a recommended term of up to 27 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

“We wanted to avoid the possibility of being convicted at trial and facing a more severe sentence,” defense lawyer Michael O’Rourke said Monday.

Hidalgo, 31, pleaded guilty to a nonmurder racketeering charge, but admitted killing Lloyd during a confrontation on Busti Avenue over a drug deal that went bad.

“An argument ensued and Jordan Hidalgo shot Raquan Lloyd at close range,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi told Arcara.

In his plea agreement, Hidalgo said the shot that killed Morrow was fired by fellow Seventh Street Gang member Esteben Ramos-Cruz. Morrow was gunned down on West and Auburn avenues in 2006 in retaliation for the murder of Seventh Street Gang member Anthony “Ace” Colon.

Ramos-Cruz pleaded guilty to the murder earlier this year.

Hidalgo, who has been jailed since his arrest in 2011, already has one conviction in connection with an assault on a U.S. marshal at the Federal Detention Center in Batavia. A jury found him guilty last year.

Ritchie Juarbe, another Seventh Street Gang member, also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy Monday and admitted taking part in the Lloyd murder.