Bronx Brothers Convicted on Federal Murder and Narcotics Charges
OCT 2 -- (New York) Special Agent in Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE, of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PEDRO GONZALEZ, a/k/a "Pete," and his brother DAVID GONZALEZ were found guilty yesterday of narcotics trafficking and murder, following a three-week jury trial before United States District Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA and a jury in Manhattan federal court. PEDRO GONZALEZ, 39, and DAVID GONZALEZ, 33, were each convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, and PEDRO GONZALEZ was also convicted of distributing heroin.
Additionally, DAVID GONZALEZ was convicted of participating in the murder of EUGENE SOTO, who was shot to death on September 14, 1996, on Valentine Avenue in the Bronx, in connection with PEDRO GONZALEZ’s drug business. Each count of conviction carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The defendants, whose drug profits were invested in real estate and other assets, also face asset forfeiture penalties. According to the evidence at trial: PEDRO GONZALEZ at first operated a street-level narcotics organization which sold crack cocaine and marijuana at East 196th Street and Creston Avenue in the Bronx, New York. During the course of the conspiracy, from 1991 through 2003, PEDRO GONZALEZ built up the drug business to the point where he and co-conspirators were selling kilogram-quantities of heroin and cocaine throughout the New York City area. Additionally, PEDRO GONZALEZ possessed several weapons, including semiautomatic guns, silencers, and a hand grenade.
DEA Special Agent in Charge GILBRIDE stated, "This guilty verdict is a success for law enforcement and the judicial process. This four year investigation delved into the violent lives of drug traffickers Pedro Gonzalez and David Gonzalez. Endless hours of investigation and tenacity proved that these two men committed a heinous murder in furtherance of a narcotics exchange. As of today, New Yorkers found them guilty and they will be off the streets and behind bars, where they belong."
On September 14, 1996, following an altercation the previous day with PEDRO GONZALEZ, SOTO encountered DAVID GONZALEZ on a Bronx street, whereupon DAVID GONZALEZ returned to a stash apartment for the brothers’ drug organization and retrieved a firearm. DAVID GONZALEZ then led a chase of SOTO through the streets. SOTO was trapped in the vestibule of a building on Valentine Avenue, and then stabbed repeatedly in the head and neck by an associate of the GONZALEZES ("CC-1"). SOTO was then shot in the head and killed, using DAVID GONZALEZ’s gun, by another GONZALEZ associate ("CC-2"). There were no eyewitnesses able to identify the killers, and the murder went unprosecuted until six years later. CC-1 and CC-2 both pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court for their roles in the murder, and agreed to cooperate with the Government. DAVID GONZALEZ was then charged.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the United States Internal Revenue Service.