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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 4, 2019

Fugitive extradited from Mexico to the United States to face federal racketeering charges allegedly involving Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico prison gang

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Angel DeLeon, 41, a Mexican national, made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico today after being extradited from Mexico on a  racketeering charge involving alleged violent criminal conduct by the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico (SNM) prison gang.

            DeLeon was one of 30 defendants charged in an indictment and two superseding indictments alleging the defendants violated federal racketeering and other laws by committing various crimes as members, prospects, and associates of SNM, a racketeering enterprise.  According to these indictments, SNM is a powerful and violent prison gang formed soon after a deadly riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in 1980.  SNM has allegedly controlled drug distribution and other illegal activities within the New Mexico prison system and engaged in street-level narcotics trafficking. 

            In particular, a second superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury on March 9, 2017, accused DeLeon and four co-defendants of allegedly participated in the murder of a person identified as “F.C.” for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing their positions with SNM. 

                       DeLeon is currently in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled to be scheduled for next week.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charged offense.   An indictment is only an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  All of the other defendants charged in the indictments have either proceeded to trial or pleaded guilty.

            The Albuquerque Division of the FBI investigated this case with the New Mexico Corrections Department and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case.

Press Release Number: 
19-159
Updated October 21, 2019