Jury Finds Pueblo Bishop Gang Member Guilty in RICO Murder Case for Ambush Killing of Father in Front of His 2-Year-Old Son
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2013|
LOS ANGELES—A member of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods street gang was convicted by a federal jury today for the murder of a young man with no gang affiliation who was executed in front of his 2-year-old son.
Rondale Young, also known as “P-Grump,” 30, of South Los Angeles, was convicted on several counts after a two-week jury trial before United States District Judge S. James Otero. Young was found guilty of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in relation to the murder of 23-year-old Francisco Cornelio.
In addition to the RICO offense, Young was convicted of witness intimidation related to Young’s conduct after he was arrested for the murder. The jury also found Young guilty of conspiring to murder Mr. Cornelio, as well as the actual murder, both of which were done in furtherance of the Pueblo Bishop criminal enterprise. In addition, Young was convicted of using a gun that resulted in murder. Based on these convictions, Young faces a mandatory minimum term of life in federal prisonment, plus 10 years.
Young is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Otero on May 26.
The federal convictions come after Young had been acquitted in Los Angeles Superior Court on murder charges related to the slaying of Mr. Cornelio. After the acquittal in state court, the FBI’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs re-investigated the case and uncovered additional evidence related to the murder and Young’s involvement with the Pueblo Bishops.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Young drove his car, which contained other armed gang members, into rival gang territory early on the morning of August 2, 2009. The Pueblo Bishops were seeking retaliation after an earlier shooting against their gang. The Pueblo Bishops targeted Mr. Cornelio because he appeared to be Hispanic and was in rival gang territory. According to witnesses who testified, two Pueblo Bishops, who were armed with shotguns, got out of Young’s vehicle and ambushed an unsuspecting Mr. Cornelio, who was washing his car. The gang members shot him once in the back without saying a word, while the victim’s son sat in the back seat of the car. There was no evidence that Cornelio had any gang ties.
The murder was unsolved prior to a federal racketeering indictment that was unsealed in August 2010. The federal indictment charges that Young and his co-defendants were members of a criminal enterprise that engaged in murder, drug dealing, firearms trafficking, witness intimidation, and armed robbery as part of the gang’s efforts to control and terrorize the Pueblo Del Rio Housing Projects in South Los Angeles.
Young is the third person to be convicted in federal court in relation to the murder of Mr. Cornelio. In a prior trial, a federal jury determined that Anthony “Bandit” Gabrourel was also part of the plot by Pueblo Bishop members to murder Mr. Cornelio. At that trial, the evidence showed that Gabourel was one of two Pueblo Bishops who exited Young’s car with shotguns and fatally shot Mr. Cornelio. Gabrourel was sentenced earlier this year by Judge Otero to 40 years in federal prison. The third person conviction in relation to the murder was sentenced to five years in prison for hiding the murder weapon after the slaying.
As a result of the federal investigation into the racketeering activity of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods, a total of 45 defendants were charged in federal indictments. Prosecutors have secured convictions against 41 of those defendants. Two defendants are in state custody after receiving lengthy sentences for violent gang crimes, and two are fugitives.
The investigation into the Pueblo Bishop Bloods was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Los Angeles Police Department, Newton Division; the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.