SAN JOSE – A federal grand jury returned murder charges against Anthony Valdez aka “Hitter,” aka “Tony Boronda,” and Kristopher Purcell, aka “K-Dawg,” announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The superseding indictment supplements charges brought October 11, 2018, against Purcell.

According to the indictment, Valdez, 21, and Purcell, 20, both of Salinas, Calif., are Norteño gang members and members of the Boronda Boys street gang.  Valdez and Purcell, along with other Boronda Boys street gang members and associates, are accused of forming a “murder squad” that hunted and killed rival gang members, gang dropouts, and others who violated gang rules.  The murder squad also targeted those perceived to be rival gang members and other persons when it suited the purposes of the gang.  

In this case, Valdez and others are alleged to have murdered a victim on North Hebbron Avenue in Salinas on November 3, 2018.  Valdez is charged with racketeering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d); conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5); murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2; use of a firearm during and in relation to, or possession in furtherance of, a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 2; and use of a firearm causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2.  

Purcell is alleged to have murdered a victim on Fremont Street in Salinas on February 11, 2017.  Purcell remains charged with attempting to murder two victims on Orchard Avenue in Salinas the next day, February 12, 2017.  In sum, Purcell is now charged with racketeering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d); conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5); murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2; use of a firearm causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2; two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(5) and 2; two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3) and 2; and two counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to, or possession in furtherance of, a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

If convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, the defendants would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison or death.  The remaining charges carry separate penalties.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Valdez was arrested and made an initial appearance in federal court today. He is scheduled to make his next appearance on December 27, 2018, for identification of counsel.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Salinas Police Department in partnership with the FBI.  

Members of the public who have information regarding gang-related activities are encouraged to contact FBI San Francisco Division at 415-553-7400.
 

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