LEADER OF THE KRAZY LOCOS CRIMINAL STREET GANG AND TWO GANG ASSOCIATES ENTER GUILTY PLEAS RELATED TO TWO HOMICIDES, ROBBERY, NARCOTICS, FIREARMS, AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office, and Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announced today the entry of guilty pleas by Jonathan Gonzalez, the leader of the Krazy Locos criminal street gang of Lake Worth, Florida, his brother, Christopher Gonzalez-Chamberlain, and Itzel Candela-Campos, an associate of the gang for their roles in two homicides, two "drive-by" shootings, narcotics and firearms trafficking, and obstruction of justice.
As set forth in the Fourth Superseding Information, Gonzalez was a leader of the “Krazy Locos,” also known as the “KL” gang, which is a group composed primarily of juvenile and young adult males with a smaller number of juvenile and young adult females, with members operating primarily in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the Southern District of Florida. The Krazy Locos has been affiliated at times with another gang, the “Making Life Krazy” or “MLK” gang, which also operates in Palm Beach County, Florida. During the period of 2007 through 2009, there were approximately forty Krazy Locos gang members and associates.
Beginning in approximately late 2007, the Krazy Locos began an alliance with a larger gang named Sur-13, or the “Sureños,” which is a gang that first became prominent in California but has now spread to cities throughout the United States. The alliance was formed when certain high-ranking Krazy Locos members learned that they would be imprisoned and sought to affiliate themselves with Sur-13 in order to insure that they would have protection while in the prison environment, where Sur-13 has a large presence. Thus, beginning in approximately mid-2008, some Krazy Locos members began referring to the gang as “KL-13.”
The Krazy Locos organization made money through the sale of controlled substances, primarily oxycodone, Xanax, methadone, cocaine, crack, and marijuana. With respect to the prescription medications (oxycodone, Xanax, and methadone), a Krazy Locos member would "sponsor" a patient, that is, pay for the patient's medical visit and prescription, in exchange for a portion of the prescription medication. The gang would then re-sell the prescription medication. Members of the gang also were required to pay “taxes” to the gang on a weekly basis and often resorted to criminal activity to secure the money to pay their “taxes.”
In January 2009, Jonathan Gonzalez ordered a juvenile gang member, Manuel Medina, to murder Rolando Franco because Franco was trying to leave the Krazy Locos and Florida to start a new life. In February 2009, Jonathan Gonzalez ordered his brother, Christopher Gonzalez-Chamberlain, and two juvenile gang members, Medina and Alejandro Tomas, to participate in the home invasion-style robbery of an apartment in Lake Worth, Florida, that Gonzalez believed was used as a “stash” house by the 18th Street Gang. Instead, the small apartment was occupied by a family of five adults and seven children who were not involved in drug trafficking. Gonzalez-Chamberlain and Medina attempted to rob the house on February 22, 2009, but were startled to find Daniel Rivera sitting outside the house. Gonzalez-Chamberlain and Medina both fired shots, killing Daniel Rivera and wounding Angel Rivera. Tomas served as the getaway driver.
In April 2009, Gonzalez ordered Medina and Tomas to shoot up the home of another former Krazy Locos member. The two juveniles went to the home on April 18, 2009, firing several shots into the home, almost injuring the sister of the former gang member. Gonzalez was angry that the two juveniles had not emptied the entire clip in the AK-47-style firearm, so he sent them back to the house on April 22, 2009 to finish the job. On that occasion, Medina fired the weapon into the air, causing damage to a number of homes in the area.
That evening, Gonzalez sold the firearm to an undercover officer as part of a joint federal/local investigation that eventually led to the arrest of Gonzalez and a number of other Krazy Locos members and associates. During the undercover operation, undercover PBSO officers along with special agents from the FBI and ATF, recovered 28 firearms and over a thousand rounds of ammunition, along with a bulletproof vest and a fake grenade.
This afternoon, Gonzalez and Gonzalez-Chamberlain entered their guilty pleas. Gonzalez pled guilty to Counts 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 26 of the Fourth Superseding Indictment which charge conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, carrying, brandishing, and discharging firearms during crimes of violence, conspiracy to transfer firearms to others for use in crimes of violence and drug trafficking, and felon in possession of firearms. Gonzalez faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of life imprisonment plus eighty-five years up to a maximum of six consecutive life terms plus 126 years. Gonzalez-Chamberlain pled guilty to Count 9, which charges assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering. Gonzalez-Chamberlain faces a maximum term of twenty years' imprisonment.
Yesterday, Itzel Candela-Campos, the girlfriend of another one of the leaders of the Krazy Locos, pled guilty to Count 35 of the Fourth Superseding Indictment, which charges conspiracy to use intimidation, threats, and corrupt persuasion to prevent the testimony of another, or to alter, destroy, or conceal objects needed in an official proceeding. Candela-Campos faces a maximum term of twenty years' imprisonment.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra presided over all of the guilty pleas. Gonzalez and Gonzalez-Chamberlain are scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m., June 3, 2011, and Candela-Campos is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 a.m., June 10, 2011. All sentencings will occur before Judge Marra in West Palm Beach.
Manuel Medina and Alejandro Tomas were originally charged as juveniles but were transferred to adult status. Both have pled guilty to their involvement. Medina has been sentenced to life imprisonment. Tomas is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m., March 18, 2011 before Judge Marra.
The U.S. Attorney's Office commends the success of the joint federal and state effort and thanks the State Attorney's Office for Palm Beach County for its support throughout the investigation and prosecution. The Office also commends the efforts of the FBI, ATF, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in West Palm Beach, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for their hard work in protecting our communities from gang violence. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Marie Villafaña, Robert Waters, and Mark Dispoto.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.