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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 3, 2021

Trinitarios Gang Member Charged With Murder Of A Confidential Informant

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Dermot Shea, Police Commissioner for the City of New York (“NYPD”), and Stuart K. Cameron, Acting Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department (“SCPD”), announced that WILLIAM JONES, a/k/a “Principe,” was charged with the murder of a federal confidential informant.  JONES was arrested yesterday and will be presented today in Manhattan federal court.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “William Jones allegedly participated in the premeditated murder of Frederick Delacruz solely because Delacruz had the courage to cooperate with law enforcement.  The indictment and arrest demonstrate that this office and its partners will be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who seeks to harm a witness to a crime.”

FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “Those who witness crimes and cooperate with the government to keep our communities safe are vital to our work in arresting criminals and holding them accountable for their criminal acts.  Mr. Jones may have allegedly thought murdering an informant would make his problems go away.  But violence is never the answer.  Instead, he’s now facing up to a lifetime in federal prison for allegedly murdering a man who would have testified against him.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said: “Nearly two years ago in eastern Long Island, William Jones allegedly fatally shot a confidential informant who was a fellow Trinitarios gang member.  But our NYPD investigators and law enforcement partners worked together from the beginning, never giving up, and we welcome these federal charges by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York to achieve some measure of justice in this case.”

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Stuart K. Cameron said: “The ability for individuals to come forward and work with law enforcement is a critical pillar in police work.  Those who have the courage to come forward should be confident their safety is of the utmost importance when pursuing alleged perpetrators of violent crimes, like William Jones.  We hope this arrest will reinforce the partnership between members of law enforcement and those who put themselves at risk to provide valuable information in criminal investigations.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment:[1]

In or around December 2019, JONES, who is a member of the Trinitarios street gang, and others agreed to kill Frederick Delacruz, who was a member of the Trinitarios and also a confidential informant for law enforcement.  On December 28, 2019, JONES and others drove Delacruz from the Bronx to Suffolk County, where they caused Delacruz to be shot and killed.

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JONES, 43, of the Bronx, New York, is charged  with two counts of conspiracy to murder a federal informant, each of which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison; two counts of murder of a federal informant, each of which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison; and murder through the use of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the NYPD, and the Suffolk County Police Department.  She also thanked the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent & Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Justin V. Rodriguez and Emily A. Johnson are in charge of the prosecution. 

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1]  As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation. 

Contact: 
Nicholas Biase, James Margolin (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
21-229
Updated September 3, 2021