Latin Kings Leader Convicted Of The 2017 Murder Of Joshua Flores
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Jonathan Garcia, a Leader in the Violent Black Mob Tribe of the Latin Kings, Also Found Guilty of Racketeering, Firearms, and Narcotics Offenses
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JONATHAN GARCIA, a/k/a “Jayo,” was found guilty at trial of the May 2017 murder of Joshua Flores in aid of racketeering. GARCIA shot and killed Flores in front of a playground on a residential street in Queens, New York, while Flores was running away from GARCIA. The verdict followed a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Jonathan Garcia gunned down his victim, 23-year-old Joshua Flores, to gain standing within the violent Latin Kings street gang. Then, Garcia bragged about the murder for years as he advanced in the ranks of the Latin Kings and engaged in additional violence and drug trafficking with his fellow gang members. Today, a unanimous jury held Garcia accountable for his brutal killing of Joshua Flores and the devastating impact of his crimes on the community. This Office remains fully committed to working with our law enforcement partners to root out gang violence from the streets of New York City.”
According to court filings and the evidence presented in court during the trial:
GARCIA is a member of a racketeering enterprise known as the Latin Kings and, specifically, the set or “tribe” of the Latin Kings known as the Black Mob, which operates in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. In order to enrich the enterprise, protect and expand its criminal operations, enforce discipline among its members, and retaliate against members of rival gangs, members and associates of the Black Mob committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and crack; committed robberies; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms. In December 2019 and April 2021, several members and associates of the Black Mob, including its senior-most leaders, were charged with racketeering offenses, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.
GARCIA has been a member of the Latin Kings since at least 2012. On May 18, 2017, GARCIA brought a firearm to a meeting with other Latin Kings members with whom he had been arguing and who intended to revoke his membership in the Latin Kings. During the meeting, next to a park in a residential area of Queens, GARCIA began arguing with other gang members. When the argument escalated, one of GARCIA’s associates fired a warning shot into the air, and gang members immediately began running away. GARCIA then took the firearm from his associate and shot at the fleeing gang members, hitting Joshua Flores, who was trying to run away. The bullet went through Flores’s back, into his jaw, and killed him. The murder elevated GARCIA’s status within the Latin Kings, including the Black Mob, with whom GARCIA committed additional crimes in the years after the murder.
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GARCIA, 29, of Queens, New York, was found guilty of (i) conspiracy to commit racketeering, which carries a maximum term of life in prison; (ii) murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory term of life in prison or death; (iii) narcotics conspiracy, which carries a maximum term of life in prison and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison; and (iv) use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, which carries a maximum term of life in prison and a mandatory minimum term of seven years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other term of in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (“OCDETF”) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Hobson, David Robles, and Patrick Moroney, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Sam Dobro, are in charge of the prosecution.
Updated June 15, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-221