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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 6, 2018

Ten Alleged Members Of Surenos Gang Charged With Murder And Related Crimes

Indictment describes seven murders in San Francisco and Richmond, Calif., alleged to have occurred between 2006 and 2013.

SAN FRANCISCO- A federal grand jury indicted ten people alleged to be members of a racketeering enterprise described as “the 19th Street/16th Street Surenos” for their respective roles in seven alleged murders, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. The indictment, filed March 20, 2018, was unsealed today following the arrest of six defendants.  A seventh defendant was taken into custody from the Santa Clara County Jail.  Three other defendants are currently in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, and are expected to make their appearances in court in the coming weeks.

According to the indictment, the 19th Street/16th Street Surenos is a racketeering enterprise made up affiliated members of Surenos gangs with adjoining territory in the Mission District of San Francisco.  The Surenos gangs have roots in Southern California and Latin America and recognize the primacy of the Mexican Mafia prison gang.  The indictment alleges that the two allied gangs maintain control of turf in areas of San Francisco by engaging in illegal activities such as the sale of narcotics, robberies, and other violent crimes, including murder.  The 19th Street/16th Street Surenos also uses violence to enforce its own rules and to attack members of rival gangs, principally members of the Norteno gang.  Nine of the defendants are alleged to have been directly involved in at least one murder, and a tenth is alleged to have helped plan a ”hunt” which led to one of the murders.

“The seven murders described in the indictment unsealed this morning refer to events going back for more than a decade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tse.  “It is a priority of this office to prosecute gangs for the violence that can tear apart our community.  This operation is proof that we will use the full power of law enforcement to uphold justice for the victims of violent crime.  Successful law enforcement requires that our federal government work closely with our state and local law enforcement partners to eradicate gang violence in our communities.  I commend the extraordinary work and coordination that went into executing this phase of the operation to bring these defendants to justice.”

“As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, leveraging its vast array of authorities and global resources, Homeland Security Investigations is well equipped in taking accused murderers, who are part of larger transnational criminal organizations, off the streets when we work closely with local law enforcement agencies,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco field office. “Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the countless hours and unyielding commitment of the men and women of HSI & the United States Attorney’s Office during the course of this long term investigation – but it’s the public who should commend the SFPD for pushing aside misconceptions about our mission and partnering with us in the interest of taking advantage of the critical public safety work HSI does.”

According to the indictment, the crimes alleged therein all are related to the activities of the 19th Street/16th Street Surenos.  The defendants allegedly participated in acts of violence to defend their collective territory against rival gangs and to enhance the enterprise’s reputation.  Among the acts described in the indictment are the following: participating in “hunting” for, shooting at, and murdering rival gang members and suspected rival gang members; selling drugs—whether crack cocaine, cocaine powder, heroine, or some combination of them—in and outside gang territory; committing assaults and strong arm robberies; carrying firearms and other dangerous weapons; and wearing distinctive tattoos to promote the gang and the defendant’s role as a member.  

The age and precise charges against each defendant are set out in the chart below. 
 

Defendant Age/Residence Charges Statute

JONATHAN AGUILAR, a/k/a “Trompo”

31

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

LUIS CID-SALINAS, a/k/a “Lonely,” a/k/a “Lonely Boy”

33

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

JUAN CARLOS GALLARDO, a/k/a “Huero”

29

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Conspiracy to Commit

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Murder in Aid of Racketeering:  1 count, plus add 924(j)(1)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

 

JOSUE GONZALEZ, a/k/a “Ghost,” a/k/a “Fedi”

36

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

ORLANDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Chisto”

35

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

MICHAEL REBOLLEDO, a/k/a “Gallo”

30

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (3 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

MARIO REYES, a/k/a “Shy Boy”

38

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

LUIS ROJAS, a/k/a “Grizz,” a/k/a “Grizzly”

 

 

 

31

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

EDDY URBINA, a/k/a “Rhino”

29

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2 counts)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

WESTON VENEGAS, a/k/a “Cartoon”

30

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

 

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The maximum statutory penalties for the crimes of which the defendants have been accused are as follows:
 

Charge

Statute

Maximum Statutory Penalty

RICO Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

Life imprisonment, $250,000 fine, five years’ supervised release

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)

10 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, three years’ supervised release

Conspiracy to Commit Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6)

3 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, one year of supervised release

Murder in aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2

Death, or mandatory life imprisonment, $250,000 fine, five years’ supervised release

Use/Possession of a Firearm Causing Murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2

Death, or up to life imprisonment, $250,000 fine, five years’ supervised release

 

Further, additional fines, forfeitures, and restitution may be ordered; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Several of the defendants were arrested April 5, 2018, as part of a coordinated criminal enforcement operation.  All the defendants except Luis Cid-Salinas, Orlando Carlos Hernandez, and Weston Venegas, appeared before the Honorable Elizabeth D. Laporte, U.S. Magistrate Judge, this morning.  Appearances have been tentatively scheduled for April 10, 2018, and April 13, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Laporte for identification of counsel and other pretrial issues.  No appearance has yet been scheduled for Luis Cid-Salinas, Orlando Carlos Hernandez, and Weston Venegas.  The case has been assigned to the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge.  No appearances have yet been scheduled before District Judge Seeborg.  All defendants remain in federal custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Scoble and Kimberly Hopkins are prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the HSI and the police departments of San Francisco and Richmond. 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated May 30, 2018