Gang Ambush Murder in Front of Toddler + RICO Act Violation = Stiff Sentence
Photo: Rondale Young
LOS ANGELES – The FBI, the LAPD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; and the L.A. County DA’s Office all stepped in to arduously investigate the murder of a man in front of his toddler son.
Francisco Cornelio (23), with no gang affiliation, was shot to death at point-blank range while vacuuming his car in front of his little boy. The 8/2/2009 murder was an apparent retaliation for a fatal drive-by shooting of a Pueblo Bishop Bloods gang member.
“Mr. Cornelio was targeted simply because he was Latino and was in rival gang territory,” said Ciaran McEvoy of the United States Attorney’s Office. “On the day of Mr. Cornelio’s murder, Rondale Young, a.k.a. “Pueblo Grump,” (37) of South Los Angeles, accompanied by other armed gang members, drove his mother’s black Chrysler 300 car into rival gang territory.”
Last May, a federal jury found Young Guilty of consipiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in relation to Francisco Cornelio’s murder. During the 10-day trial, the jury also found Young guilty of “conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR); VICAR murder; and possessing, using and discharging a firearm resulting in death in relation to a crime of violence,” said McEvoy.
The South L.A. Gang Member was sentenced on November 18th, by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero, to Life Plus 10 Years in Federal Prison for the ambush murder.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mack E. Jenkins, Chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; Assistant United States Attorney Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; and Assistant United States Attorney Julia S. Choe of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.
“The seriousness of (Young’s) offense is among the most egregious in the federal code, among the few punishable by death,” prosecutors wrote in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “The ultimate consequences of the murder…included to: rob a young wife of her husband; rob a young son of his father and of his childhood; and to further inflame racial and gang tensions in combustible South Los Angeles, thereby putting the entire community at risk.”
A total of 45 defendants charged in this matter have been convicted of federal RICO and related charges, and have been held responsible for multiple murders.