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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

MS-13 Defendant Pleads Guilty to Two Murders

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A defendant in the MS-13 racketeering case pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today and accepted responsibility for his involvement in two homicides.

Jose Salvador Gonzalez-Campos, 28, formerly of Columbus, pleaded guilty today to one count of participating in a racketeering conspiracy and one count of murder through the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd A. Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Rebecca Adducci, Detroit Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the plea entered into today before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

Gonzalez-Campos, also known as “Danger,” is one of 23 individuals charged in a second superseding indictment in February 2018 who are alleged to be members and associates of MS-13 in Columbus.

The defendants are charged in a racketeering conspiracy, which includes five murders as well as attempted murder, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking, assault, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, weapons offenses and immigration-related violations.

The second superseding indictment alleges that the defendants committed a host of overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, including: 1) the December 2006 murder of Jose Mendez, a confidential informant, in Perry County; 2) the November 2008 murder of Ramon Ramos on Lockbourne Road in Columbus; 3) the mid-2015 murder of Carlos Serrano-Ramos, a suspected rival gang member, near Innis Road in Columbus; 4) the November 2015 murder of Wilson Villeda near Innis Road in Columbus; and 5) the December 2016 murder of Salvador Martinez-Diaz, a suspected rival gang member, on Melroy Avenue in Columbus.

As part of his plea, Gonzalez-Campos accepted responsibility for his role in the murders of Wilson Villeda and Salvador Martinez-Diaz. He also admitted to being involved in drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering on behalf of the criminal enterprise.

The parties involved in Gonzalez-Campos’ case are recommending a prison sentence of 35 to 40 years.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, ICE, Columbus Division of Police and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Brian J. Martinez and Jessica H. Kim, who are prosecuting the case.

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Violent Crime
Updated September 16, 2019