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Date: 04-09-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Eddy Urbina, Weston Venegas, Orlando Hernandez, Juan Carlos Gallardo, Jonathan Aguilar, Mario Reyes

Case Number:


Court: The United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for San Francisco

Defendant's Attorney:

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San Francisco, California criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Cold-Case Murders.

The Defendants Received Prison Sentences Ranging from 11 to 32 Years

Six San Francisco residents have been sentenced to prison for terms ranging from 11 to 32 years for their participation in the criminal activities of the 19th Street/16th Street Sureños enterprise and their respective roles in seven cold-case murders that took place between 2006 and 2013, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. The sentences were handed down by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, Chief United States District Judge.

Eddy Urbina, AKA “Rhino,” 35, Weston Venegas, AKA “Cartoon,” 34, Orlando Hernandez, AKA “Chisto,” 41, and Juan Carlos Gallardo, AKA “Huero,” 35, all of San Francisco, were sentenced yesterday, following sentencings for Jonathan Aguilar, AKA “Trompo,” 37, and Mario Reyes, AKA “Shy Boy,” 44, on April 2, 2024, and March 5, 2024, respectively. Each defendant pleaded guilty in October 2023 to offenses related to the 19th Street/16th Street Sureños enterprise and the seven cold-case murders.

n his plea agreement, Urbina admitted to committing a shooting September 4, 2008, in which he and others killed two victims and attempted to kill a third in retaliation for the murder of a fellow Sureño earlier that day. Urbina also admitted that in 2015, he had attempted to reveal the identity of government witnesses to an incarcerated Sureño by sending a letter in coded language and that, as a member of the enterprise, he had sold narcotics in gang territory and participated in robberies.

Aguilar admitted, in his plea agreement, to committing a shooting on March 14, 2006, in San Francisco, in which he and others in the enterprise killed two victims and attempted to kill two others. He also admitted to committing another shooting in September 2007 and to selling narcotics on behalf of the enterprise.

In 2015, Hernandez and Venegas were each previously convicted of participating in a racketeering conspiracy and sentenced to twelve years in prison in United States v. Alvarez et al., case number 14-CR-00120 EMC. In their respective plea agreements in this case, Hernandez and Venegas each admitted to taking part in the March 30, 2013, murder of a victim in San Francisco’s Mission District, planned as a retaliation for the murder of another Sureño two years earlier. According to court filings, the victim was not a rival, but an innocent civilian mistaken for a rival. The thirteen-year prison sentences for both men imposed by Judge Seeborg yesterday will run consecutively to their earlier sentences, resulting in an aggregate twenty-five-year sentence for each man.

In his plea agreement, Gallardo admitted to shooting and killing a victim on February 28, 2009, while at a house party in Richmond, California; the victim was a 16-year-old boy. Gallardo also admitted to participating in robberies with others in the enterprise.

Finally, Reyes admitted in his plea agreement that he, too, was involved in the hunt for victims on March 30, 2013. He pleaded guilty to participating in various racketeering conspiracies and not in the murder itself. Reyes also admitted to selling narcotics in gang territory.

“This Sureño criminal enterprise has terrorized San Francisco’s Mission District for decades through shootings, robberies, and drug dealing,” said U.S. Attorney Ramsey. “The sentences in this case make clear that we will pursue the perpetrators of gang violence and seek justice no matter when that violence occurred. We are pleased to bring closure to the families of these victims and to hold these defendants accountable for the tremendous harm they caused.”

“This sentencing reflects efforts by law enforcement to pursue justice in a long running case that terrorized victims in the Mission District and beyond. We hope this sentence provides some solace and closure to victim families who have suffered for a significant period of time,” said Special Agent in Charge King.

In addition to the custodial sentences, Judge Seeborg also ordered all six defendants to spend five years on supervised release, beginning after their respective prison terms are completed.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Scoble and Richard Ewenstein are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist Madeline Wachs and Paralegal Specialist Sara Slattery. The prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by HSI, with assistance from the San Francisco Police Department’s Community Violence Reduction Team and Homicide Detail.


Defendants were found guilty and sentenced to

Eddy Urbina

October 16, 2023

April 8, 2024

32 years

Jonathan Aguilar

October 16, 2023

April 2, 2024

30 years

Orlando Hernandez

October 16, 2023

April 8, 2024

25 years (13 years consecutive to prior 12 year sentence)

Weston Venegas

October 16, 2023

April 8, 2024

25 years (13 years consecutive to prior 12 year sentence)

Juan Carlos Gallardo

October 10, 2023

April 8, 2024

22 years

Mario Reyes

October 16, 2023

March 5, 2024

11 years

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