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Press Release

Virginia man who participated in Columbus murder pleads guilty to participating in MS-13 racketeering conspiracy

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Virginia man pleaded guilty in federal court in Columbus today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy in Columbus on behalf of the transnational gang MS-13.


In his plea, Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Campos (a/k/a Flaco), 31, accepts responsibility for his role in the November 2015 murder of 17-year-old high school student Wilson Villeda.


Parties involved in Gonzalez-Campos’ case have recommended a sentence of 30 years in prison.


Gonzalez-Campos is one of 23 members and associates of MS-13 in Columbus charged in a February 2018 second superseding indictment. He is the eighteenth defendant to plead guilty.

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.

Court documents detail that the defendants committed a host of overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, including: 1) the December 2006 murder of Jose Mendez, a suspected 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.

The murders sometimes involved defendants using weapons like machetes, knives and hammers to attack and beat their victims to death.


In the murder of Wilson Villeda, MS-13 members and associates attacked and killed the victim with bladed weapons and buried his body in a shallow grave in the woods in Innis Park.


David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, 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 Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the guilty plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.


Deputy Criminal Chief Brian J. Martinez and Assistant United States Attorney Noah R. Litton are representing the United States in this case.



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Updated August 11, 2020

Violent Crime