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Press Release

Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico gang member found guilty in cold case federal murder trial

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

             ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Sept. 16, a federal jury in Las Cruces, New Mexico, found Angel DeLeon, 43, of Mexico, guilty of murder. DeLeon will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

             According to court records, DeLeon, along with Joe Lawrence Gallegos, 52, and Edward Troup, 50, killed another inmate, identified as “FC,” in the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility (“SNMCF”) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico on March 26, 2001, by using a cord from a laundry bag to strangle him. Another inmate, identified in court records as “RG,” was also killed by strangulation at SNMCF on that same date. The killings were carried out on the orders of Billy “Wild Bill” Garcia, 66, of Albuquerque, acting in his capacity as a leader of the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico (SNM) prison gang.

            Garcia, Troup and Gallegos were found guilty on May 25, 2018.  Garcia was sentenced to life in prison on June 11, 2019. Troup was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 6, 2018. Gallegos was sentenced to life in prison on April 21, 2020.

            DeLeon, a Mexican national, was arrested on October 4, 2019, after being extradited from Mexico to the United States for trial. DeLeon faces life in prison.

            The SNM is an ultra-violent criminal organization whose members, prospects and associates engage in acts of violence and other criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics. Members have admitted in court that the organization engages in racketeering activity.

            The FBI, the New Mexico State Police, and the New Mexico Corrections Department investigated this case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing DeLeon’s arrest and extradition from Mexico.   Assistant United States Attorneys from the Las Cruces branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico prosecuted the case.

Updated September 21, 2021

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-188