Hector Rodriguez, 24, a member of the West Side’s notorious 10th Street Gang, pleaded guilty Friday to a federal racketeering charge. He faces a prison term of up to 20 years and a find of up to $250,000 or both when U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara sentences him May 9 at 12:30 p.m.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. said Rodriguez, the 18th member of the gang to have pleaded guilty, admitted to drug dealing and firearms possession as a part of his participation in the gang. Thirty-five members of the gang have been indicted.

Hochul said that on May 22, 2006 Rodriguez learned that rival drug dealers were making what he believed to be a substantial amount of money selling crack cocaine in the turf controlled by the 10th Street Gang. He then dressed in old and dirty clothes and pretended to be a crack cocaine user and purchased crack cocaine from one of the rival dealers.

He later returned to a 10th Street Gang drug house where he told fellow gang members that he did not see any guns in the possession of the rival drug dealer with whom he had just dealt.

Tenth Street gang members then went back and ,using an AK-47, shot that rival dealer to send out the word that rival dealers should stay out of their neighborhood, Hochul said.