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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 18, 2019

South L.A. Gang Member Sentenced to Life Plus 10 Years in Federal Prison for Ambush Murder of Man in Front of His Toddler Son

          LOS ANGELES – A member of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods street gang was sentenced today to life -- plus an additional 10 years -- in federal prison for racketeering offenses that included the murder of a man in front of the victim’s 2-year-old son.

          Rondale Young, a.k.a. “Pueblo Grump,” 37, of South Los Angeles, was sentenced today by United States District Judge S. James Otero.

          In May, after a 10-day trial, a federal jury found Young guilty of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in relation to the August 2, 2009 murder of Francisco Cornelio. Mr. Cornelio was a 23-year-old man with no gang affiliation and was shot to death at point-blank range while vacuuming his car in front of his toddler son.

          The jury also found Young guilty of conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR); VICAR murder; and possessing, using and discharging a firearm resulting in death in relation to a crime of violence.

          On the day of Mr. Cornelio’s murder, Young, accompanied by other armed gang members, drove his mother’s black Chrysler 300 car into rival gang territory, seeking retaliation for a fatal drive-by shooting of a Pueblo Bishop Bloods gang member. Mr. Cornelio was targeted simply because he was Latino and was in rival gang territory.

          “The seriousness of (Young’s) offense is among the most egregious in the federal code, among the few punishable by death,” prosecutors wrote in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “The ultimate consequences of the murder...included to: rob a young wife of her husband; rob a young son of his father and of his childhood; and to further inflame racial and gang tensions in combustible South Los Angeles, thereby putting the entire community at risk.”

          Local authorities originally charged Young in 2009 with killing Mr. Cornelio, but he was acquitted by a state jury.

          An August 2010 indictment charged Young and 44 other members and associates of the gang with being members of a criminal enterprise that engaged in drug dealing, firearms trafficking, murder, witness intimidation and armed robbery as part of the gang’s efforts to control and terrorize the Pueblo del Rio Housing Projects in South Los Angeles.

          In 2013, Young was convicted of racketeering charges in connection to the indictment and Mr. Cornelio’s murder and was sentenced to life in federal prison. That conviction was vacated in 2017 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which cited evidentiary errors during the first trial. The case was sent back to the district court for a retrial. Young has been in federal custody since the 2010 indictment.

          With Young’s conviction, all 45 defendants charged in this matter have been convicted of federal RICO and related charges, and have been held responsible for multiple murders.

          This matter was investigated by the FBI; the Los Angeles Police Department; the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mack E. Jenkins, Chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; Assistant United States Attorney Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; and Assistant United States Attorney Julia S. Choe of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.

Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
19-233
Updated November 18, 2019