A gang member is facing life behind bars after he was accused of participating in the premeditated murder of a federal confidential informant, New York prosecutors said.
At the end of 2019, Trinitarios street gang member William Jones, 43, and co-conspirators allegedly agreed to kill fellow gang member, Frederick Delacruz.
On Dec. 28, 2019, Jones and others drove Delacruz, an informant for law enforcement, from the Bronx to Suffolk County, eastern Long Island, where they allegedly shot and killed him, according to the indictment.
Law enforcement in New York launched an investigation and on Sept. 3 charged Jones with two counts of conspiracy to murder a federal informant, and two counts of murder of a federal informant, each of which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.
He also faces a charge of murder through the use of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
“William Jones allegedly participated in the premeditated murder of Frederick Delacruz solely because Delacruz had the courage to cooperate with law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “The indictment and arrest demonstrate that this office and its partners will be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who seeks to harm a witness to a crime.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll called Delacruz and others who witness crimes and cooperate with the government “vital.”
“Mr. Jones may have allegedly thought murdering an informant would make his problems go away. But violence is never the answer,” Driscoll said, noting, “Instead, he’s now facing up to a lifetime in federal prison for allegedly murdering a man who would have testified against him.”