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Transnational Gangs

Krazy Locos leader and associates plea guilty to homicide, robbery, narcotics, firearms and obstruction of justice

MIAMI - Jonathan Gonzalez, of Lake Worth, Fla., leader of the Krazy Locos criminal street gang, along with his brother Christopher Gonzalez-Chamberlain, and Itzel Campos, an associate of the gang, pleaded guilty on Friday for their roles in two homicides, two drive-by shootings, narcotics and firearms trafficking, and obstruction of justice, following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office (PBSO).

According to superseding information, Gonzalez was a leader of the Krazy Locos, also known as the "KL" gang, a group composed primarily of juvenile and young adult males with a smaller number of juvenile and young adult females, operating primarily in Palm Beach County, Fla. The Krazy Locos has been affiliated at times with another gang, the "Making Life Krazy" or "MLK" gang, which also operates in Palm Beach County. During the period of 2007 through 2009, there were approximately 40 Krazy Locos gang members and associates.

Beginning in late 2007, the Krazy Locos began an alliance with a larger gang named Sur-13, or the Sureños, which is a gang that first became prominent in California but has now spread to cities throughout the United States. The alliance was formed when certain high-ranking Krazy Locos members learned that they would be imprisoned and sought to affiliate themselves with Sur-13 in order to insure that they would have protection while in the prison environment. Beginning in mid-2008, some Krazy Locos members began referring to the gang as KL-13.

The Krazy Locos organization made money through the sale of controlled substances, primarily oxycodone, Xanax, methadone, cocaine, crack, and marijuana. With respect to the prescription medications (oxycodone, Xanax, and methadone), a Krazy Locos member would sponsor a patient, that is, pay for the patient's medical visit and prescription, in exchange for a portion of the prescription medication. The gang would then re-sell the prescription medication. Members of the gang also were required to pay "taxes" to the gang on a weekly basis and often resorted to criminal activity to secure the money to pay their "taxes."

In January 2009, Gonzalez ordered a juvenile gang member, Manuel Medina, to murder Rolando Franco because Franco was trying to leave the Krazy Locos and Florida to start a new life.

In February 2009, Gonzalez ordered his brother, Gonzalez-Chamberlain, and two juvenile gang members, Medina and Alejandro Tomas, to participate in the home invasion-style robbery of an apartment in Lake Worth, Fla., that Gonzalez believed was used as a stash house by the 18th Street Gang. Instead, the small apartment was occupied by a family of five adults and seven children who were not involved in drug trafficking. Gonzalez-Chamberlain and Medina attempted to rob the house on Feb. 22, 2009, but were startled to find Daniel Rivera sitting outside the house. Gonzalez-Chamberlain and Medina both fired shots, killing Daniel Rivera and wounding Angel Rivera. Tomas served as the getaway driver.

In April 2009, Gonzalez ordered Medina and Tomas to shoot up the home of another former Krazy Locos member. The two juveniles went to the home on April 18, 2009, firing several shots into the home, almost injuring the sister of the former gang member. Gonzalez was angry that the two juveniles had not emptied the entire clip in the AK-47-style firearm, so he sent them back to the house on April 22, 2009 to finish the job. On that occasion, Medina fired the weapon into the air, causing damage to a number of homes in the area.

That evening, Gonzalez sold the firearm to an undercover officer as part of a joint federal/local investigation that eventually led to the arrest of Gonzalez and a number of other Krazy Locos members and associates. During the undercover operation, undercover PBSO officers along with special agents from the FBI and ATF, recovered 28 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, along with a bulletproof vest and a fake grenade.

On Friday, Gonzalez and Gonzalez-Chamberlain entered their guilty pleas. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, carrying, brandishing, and discharging firearms during crimes of violence, conspiracy to transfer firearms to others for use in crimes of violence and drug trafficking, and felon in possession of firearms. He faces a mandatory minimum term of life and 85 years in prison up to a maximum of six consecutive life terms and 126 years.

Gonzalez-Chamberlain pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering. He faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

On Thursday, Itzel Candela-Campos, the girlfriend of another one of the leaders of the Krazy Locos, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use intimidation, threats, and corrupt persuasion to prevent the testimony of another, or to alter, destroy, or conceal objects needed in an official proceeding. Candela-Campos faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra presided over all of the guilty pleas. Gonzalez and Gonzalez-Chamberlain are scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on June 3, and Candela-Campos is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on June 10. All sentencings will occur before Judge Marra in West Palm Beach.

Medina and Tomas were originally charged as juveniles but were transferred to adult status. Both have pleaded guilty to their involvement. Medina has been sentenced to life in prison. Tomas is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. on March 18 before Judge Marra.