A member of a San Fernando Valley-based street gang was sentenced Thursday to 31 years in federal prison for committing multiple felonies, including the attempted murders of three rival gangsters.
Jesus Gonzalez Jr., 28 — also known as “Lil Chito,” “Gunner” and “Chuy” — pleaded guilty in January to five felonies: one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, two counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
To consolidate control over their “territory” in Sun Valley, North Hollywood and Burbank, the gang shot and assaulted rival gang members, controlled and conducted drug and firearms trafficking activity, and extorted money in the form of “taxes” from drug dealers, and trafficked narcotics, federal prosecutors said.
Gonzalez, of Sun Valley, conspired with fellow gang members and associates to engage in acts of racketeering in the form of attempted murder and drug trafficking. He admitted that he was involved in multiple gang-related shootings, including a December 2015 shootout in South Los Angeles with rival gang members.
In early April 2016, Gonzalez shot and severely wounded one victim and injured others in a drive-by shooting outside a party in Sun Valley after he believed the victim had insulted his gang. A few weeks later, he stalked and shot a rival gang member on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, firing several shots at close range at the victim, who survived. In May 2016, Gonzalez and other gang members drove next to a vehicle in North Hollywood near Lankershim Boulevard, and Gonzalez confronted and shot the other vehicle’s passengers because he believed they were gang rivals.
Gonzalez also sold methamphetamine and illegally sold numerous firearms, including an AR-style rifle bearing no serial number — commonly known as a “ghost gun” — that he sold in May 2016 outside a McDonald’s restaurant in San Fernando.
In January 2019, a federal grand jury indicted 31 members and associates of the gang. So far, prosecutors have secured 17 convictions and multiple prison sentences exceeding 10 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.