Gonzales Pleads Guilty to Possession of Ammunition; Agreement Includes Stipulated 10-Year Sentence
Gang member fired shots at victim, fled from law enforcement
SALT LAKE CITY – Sentencing is set for June 7, 2017, for Aldo Gonzalez, 26, of Salt Lake City, who pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition after a previous felony conviction. The plea agreement includes a stipulated 10-year sentence in federal prison. Gonzalez, a member of the Nortenos Familia Varrio Loco gang, is being prosecuted as a part of the #UtahGangInitiative and the Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.
Gonzalez was indicted on the charge in September. He entered his guilty plea March 14, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell.
The charges stem from a July 1, 2016, encounter Gonzalez had with an individual at a restaurant in West Valley City. The victim and his girlfriend saw a male, later identified as Gonzalez, wearing a red 49ers hat. The victim told Gonzalez he had a cool hat. Gonzalez left the restaurant shortly thereafter.
The victim and his girlfriend finished their dinner and drove to their home in West Valley City. As they got out of the vehicle, they were approached by two men who were pointing handguns at them. The victim recognized one of the men as the individual he had seen at the restaurant. Gonzalez asked the victim, “What set you claim?” The two men immediately began shooting at the victim. The two men got back into their car and fled the scene. The victim, who was not injured, recognized the make and model of the car.
A West Valley City police officer responded to the scene and observed several bullet holes in a nearby car and the victim’s home. He also located 10 spent shell casings. Two bullets were recovered from the house.
An officer patrolling the area quickly found a car that matched the description provided by the victim and the description of Gonzalez. After following the car for a while, the driver of the car suddenly accelerated in an apparent effort to evade the officer. The officer activated his lights and siren as the car reached speeds of 50-60 in a residential neighborhood. Gonzalez abandoned the car he was driving and fled the scene. The officer continued to give commands for him to stop. After a chase, Gonzalez jumped a fence and swam across a canal. Other officers responded to the other side of the canal where Gonzalez had been seen last. A bystander advised officers that Gonzalez had entered a home. Officers set up a perimeter around the home and ordered the occupants to leave the house. Three people exited the house. One occupant advised officers that Gonzalez was still in the home. SWAT teams entered the home and took Gonzalez into custody.
Officers found ammunition in the garage of the home, including ammunition that appeared to be hollow point. Additionally, 20 rounds of .40 caliber centerfire pistol cartridges and 20 rounds of 9 mm centerfire pistol cartridges in Gonzalez’ car.
The 10-year sentence in the plea agreement is subject to the approval of the court. As a part of the plea agreement reached in the federal case, Gonzalez agreed to plead guilty to three counts (12-14) in a related case filed in Third District Court. At the time of the offense, Gonzalez was on parole for a felony burglary conviction in state court.
Gonzalez was indicted on the charge in September. The case is being investigated by West Valley City police officers and special agents of the ATF. The case is being prosecuted by a West Valley City prosecutor acting as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.