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Press Release

Leader Of Sunset Trinitarios Gang Pleads Guilty To Racketeering

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EDIBERTO SANTANA, a/k/a “Flaco Veneno,” pled guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy involving murder, arising out of SANTANA’s long-time leadership of the Sunset Trinitarios gang.  SANTANA pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:  “Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder that we are committed to seeking justice for victims no matter the passage of time and to holding gang leaders responsible for the violence that they instigate.”

According to the Indictment, SANTANA’s plea agreement, and statements made in Court:

SANTANA is the long-time leader of the Sunset Trinitarios (“Sunset”), a violent set of the national Trinitarios street gang that controlled territory in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, among other places.  Under SANTANA’s leadership and at SANTANA’s direction, Sunset perpetrated a near-constant string of violent crime for nearly a decade, including murders, shootings, assaults, and robberies.  Among other acts of violence, SANTANA ordered the March 13, 2011, murder of Dennis Marquez, age 16, who was stabbed to death in the Bronx; the October 23, 2013, murder of Michael Beltre, age 17, who was shot and killed in the Bronx; and the November 17, 2013, murder of Rafael Alam, age 23, who was shot and killed in the Bronx. 

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SANTANA, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy with murder as a special sentencing factor, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing will be determined by a judge.  SANTANA is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on February 8, 2023.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, and the New York City Department of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celia V. Cohen, Jacqueline C. Kelly, Lindsey Keenan, and Jacob R. Fiddelman are in charge of the prosecution.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated October 6, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-312