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Press Release

Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico gang member sentenced to life in prison for murder

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –Angel DeLeon, 43, of Mexico, was sentenced today in federal court to life in prison for murder. A federal jury convicted DeLeon on Sept. 16.

            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 Oct. 4, 2019, after being extradited from Mexico to the United States for trial.

            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, the New Mexico Corrections Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office 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 December 15, 2021

Violent Crime
Release Number: 21-244