Enforcer Of Violent Narcotics Trafficking Organization Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For His Role In 7 Murders | USAO-SDNY

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that JASON DONES-GONZALEZ, an enforcer for La Organización de Narcotraficantes Unidos (“La ONU”), was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman to 35 years in prison.  DONES-GONZALEZ previously pled guilty to participating in a racketeering conspiracy, participating in a conspiracy to commit murder, and unlawfully possessing a machine gun.  

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Jason Dones-Gonzalez was a ruthless murderer who carried out numerous acts of wanton and depraved violence as an enforcer for La ONU.  As just one example, Dones-Gonzalez and an accomplice beat a man until he appeared to be dead, but just to be sure, he and the accomplice stuffed the victim’s body into a suitcase, transported it elsewhere, shot it, and lit it on fire.  This degree of cold-blooded indifference to – indeed, apparent pleasure at – taking another human life merits a firm reckoning.  Today Jason Dones-Gonzalez was rightly sentenced to 35 years in prison for his horrific crimes.”

According to the Indictment, other filings in this case, and statements during court proceedings:

From at least in or about 2004 until 2016, DONES-GONZALEZ was a member and enforcer of La ONU, a criminal enterprise involved in shipping thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York.  Cocaine supplied by La ONU was then distributed in New York City, including out of a daycare center in the Bronx, New York.  Members and associates of La ONU also engaged in acts of violence, including murder, to protect and expand the enterprise’s criminal operations and in connection with rivalries with other criminal organizations.  In particular, members of the enterprise were ordered to shoot and kill suspected rival drug trafficking members.

As an enforcer for La ONU, DONES-GONZALEZ participated in the murder of at least seven people between approximately 2006 and 2010.  Those murders involved heinous and brazen acts of violence, including, for example, kidnapping and killing individuals, strangling two individuals believed to be spies, interrogating them for information, and then shooting them, choking and shooting an individual believed to be cooperating with law enforcement, and assaulting an individual, placing that individual’s body in a suitcase, and shooting and lighting the suitcase on fire.  Specifically:

In approximately 2006 or 2007, members of La ONU kidnapped and killed Freddy Mendez-Rivera after learning from corrupt law enforcement officers working for La ONU that Mendez-Rivera had complained to law enforcement about drug dealing occurring in his neighborhood.  DONES-GONZALEZ and two other individuals put Mendez-Rivera into a van and killed him.

In 2007, DONES-GONZALEZ and three other individuals strangled two men alleged to be spies with twisted-up t-shirts while interrogating them for information.  DONES-GONZALEZ and the others then shot the men, one of whom died.

In approximately 2008 or 2009, DONES-GONZALEZ and four other individuals dressed up as police officers and kidnapped an individual known as “Gabi,” a leader of a rival drug trafficking organization, from his home and killed him.

In 2009, DONES-GONZALEZ and another individual killed an individual known as “Sacca Grippe,” because they thought that he was cooperating with law enforcement.  They choked and shot him.

On March 20, 2009, DONES-GONZALEZ and other members of La ONU murdered Carlos Barbosa on the orders of a leader of La ONU because Barbosa was threatening to take control of certain drug territory from that leader.  DONES-GONZALEZ used a FN pistol, which is designed to fire multiple rounds upon a single pull of the trigger, and which fires ammunition that can penetrate body armor.

On November 27, 2009, DONES-GONZALEZ and other La ONU members assaulted Emanuel Correa Romero until he appeared dead.  The leadership of a local housing project gang, after consulting with other leaders of La ONU, had decided that Correa Romero should be killed because he had murdered the friend of a leader of a component of La ONU.  After the assault, DONES-GONZALEZ and another individual placed Correa Romero’s body into a suitcase, removed it from the housing project, and later reported back that they shot the suitcase and then lit it on fire.

On July 1, 2010, a leader of La ONU ordered the murder of Victor Alexis Rivera Santiago, a reggaeton singer who participated in narcotics trafficking, for stealing a kilogram of cocaine from the son of the leader’s friend and killing the son in the process.  DONES-GONZALEZ and others tied Rivera Santiago up in the leader’s presence, transported him to an apartment, questioned him, and killed him.           

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In addition to the prison term, Judge Furman sentenced DONES-GONZALEZ, 41, of Puerto Rico, to three years of supervised release.

Ms. Strauss praised the investigative work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the New York City Police Department.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Police Department for their support in this ongoing investigation. 

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Justin Rodriguez, and Andrew Thomas are in charge of the prosecution.

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