Press Releases

Violent Drug Dealer Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To Life In Prison For Four Murders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday June 1, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FREDDIE GONZALEZ, the leader of a cocaine distribution conspiracy in the Bronx in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to life in prison for his participation in four murders that were committed in connection with his cocaine trafficking business.  GONZALEZ was found guilty in January 2012, after a two-week jury trial, of committing, and aiding and abetting the commission of, four murders while engaged in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.  Specifically, he was convicted for his participation in the 1990 murders of Carmelo and Marisol Gonzalez (no relation to GONZALEZ), Clement Bedword, and Carlos Polanco.  GONZALEZ was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “After more than two decades, the legacy of blood and grief left by the crime spree of Freddie Gonzalez has come to an end and he will spend the rest of his life exactly where he belongs – behind bars.  Today’s sentencing should serve as a reminder that, even where the murders happened long ago, we will not rest until justice is served.”

According to the trial evidence and other documents filed in the case:

In the late 1980s, GONZALEZ, a cocaine dealer in the Bronx, set up a very successful cocaine distribution “drug spot” at a building in the Bronx, after Carmelo Gonzalez – a rival cocaine dealer – abandoned that area.  GONZALEZ supplied his own cocaine distribution organization both by purchasing cocaine and by robbing other drug dealers.  Soon thereafter, GONZALEZ and Carmelo Gonzalez began a “war” over the drug spot. 

In August 1990, GONZALEZ and several of his associates entered the Yonkers home of Carmelo Gonzalez and his 22-year-old wife, Marisol, in the early morning, and fatally shot them both while they, their two young children, and Carmelo Gonzalez’s brother slept.  The children and Carmelo Gonzalez’s brother, who were sleeping in another room just a few feet away, were unharmed. 

In September 1990, GONZALEZ and several of his associates confronted Clement Bedword, a cocaine dealer, on 183rd Street and University Avenue in the Bronx, intending to rob him of a large amount of drugs.  GONZALEZ and his associates pretended to be police officers and, when Bedword resisted, shot him with a machine gun, forced him into a van and drove away.  Bedword, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the chest, was later found dumped in a wooded area in Yonkers, New York, where he had been shot again.  After the murder, police confirmed that Bedword’s apartment had been burglarized.

 In November 1990, GONZALEZ and several of his associates confronted Carlos Polanco, a major cocaine dealer, and his younger brother in front of their home in Queens, New York, intending to rob Polanco of kilograms of cocaine.  When Polanco resisted, one of the assailants shot and killed him with a machine gun.  Polanco’s brother was unharmed.

GONZALEZ continued to run his drug spot after the murders.

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GONZALEZ, 44, is a citizen of the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Bharara praised the Yonkers Police Department, the New York City Police Department, and his own Office’s investigators for their work on the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Laurie Korenbaum, Michael D. Maimin, and Jessica Lonergan are in charge of the prosecution.

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