One of three members of a Gardena street gang linked to the death of a 29-year-old man who was gunned down in front of his home was sentenced Tuesday to just over nine years in federal prison for gun possession.
Jesus “Rowdy” Hernandez, 29, was sentenced to 110 months behind bars followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Hernandez pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of three guns fired at the crime scene.
Along with Hernandez, the defendants are Antonio “Tank” Yanez, 24, and Justin “Hitta” Arteaga, 22. All three are from Gardena.
Yanez previously pleaded guilty to the charge of violent crime in aid of racketeering, which carries a sentence of the death penalty or life in federal prison because the victim — Evan Campbell — was murdered. Yanez is set to be sentenced on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles federal court.
A fourth man who participated in the attack — G. Hernandez, who is Jesus Hernandez’s older brother and who is described in court papers as a longtime documented gang member — was shot by Campbell’s father during the Nov. 13, 2020, incident and later died at a hospital.
Arteaga is scheduled to go on trial in May.
Jesus Hernandez, who was arrested the night of Campbell’s murder, pleaded guilty to possessing three firearms that were found in the “cut” — a hidden gun stash for gang members. All three guns had his DNA on them. Prosecutors say the guns were responsible for 35 of the 55 cartridge casings recovered at the crime scene.
Before the shooting began, Campbell and his brother were seated in parked car near their driveway when they were confronted by G. Hernandez, Yanez and Arteaga, prosecutors said.
Campbell’s brother told the men they were not affiliated with a gang and they were simply in front of their longtime home. As the men neared the parked car, Campbell stepped out of the vehicle while his brother texted their father, asking him to bring his gun outside because of the escalating situation, court papers show.
G. Hernandez swung at Campbell, who swung back, and all three assailants pulled out guns and began shooting. The father saw the text message and soon after heard 15 to 20 gunshots. The father came out to the car and saw G. Hernandez about 50 yards down the street. G. Hernandez began shooting at the father, who returned fire and struck G. Hernandez. One of the other gunman also fired at the father after G. Hernandez fell to the ground, prosecutors said.
Police and paramedics responded to the scene, where they treated Campbell, but he died soon after as a result of the 10 gunshot wounds he suffered. G. Hernandez, who was found lying on the street with gunshot wounds to his head and chest, was brought to a hospital, where he died several days later.
Soon after the shooting, Gardena police officers arrested Jesus Hernandez and Yanez in the backyard of a nearby residence. Responding officers also recovered four 9mm handguns, three of which were “ghost guns” with no serial numbers, according to federal prosecutors.
Arteaga was arrested on Nov. 17, 2020, at Los Angeles International Airport as he was preparing to board a one-way flight to Guadalajara, Mexico. He was wearing the same hat he was seen wearing on security video taken the night of the shooting, according to court papers.
Yanez and Arteaga initially were charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which subsequently dismissed those charges in light of the federal racketeering case.
The federal complaint alleges that the murder of Campbell was committed to further the power of a street gang, which is described in the affidavit as a criminal enterprise that has documented membership in California, Nevada, Texas, Hawaii and Rosarito, Mexico. Gardena police believe the gang distributes narcotics, primarily methamphetamine, both locally and in Hawaii.