DENVER (CBS4) – New details emerged Wednesday about a murder-for-hire plot in Pueblo when a defendant pleaded guilty in federal court in Denver.
Reina Ashley Gonzales admitted she provided information to a prospective hit man to help him target the intended murder victim in exchange for $10,000.
Gonzales, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiring with codefendant Ricardo “Rico” Estevan Suazo to hire a hit man last September. The intended victim was a witness against Suazo in a Pueblo District Court case.
The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper reported Sept. 30 Suazo and Gonzales had been indicted and arrested. They have been in custody since then.
Investigators say Suazo is in the Surenos East Side Dukes violent criminal gang. He has a history of crime and was in jail when he was making arrangements to have the witness killed.
Gonzales admitted on Wednesday that when she met with the prospective hit man she showed him the Facebook page of the intended victim and the Facebook page of his girlfriend. Gonzales also admitted she drew a map to the last known address of the intended victims.
Unknown to Gonzales and Suazo, the prospective hit man was a Pueblo detective, working undercover.
Investigators have said that a confidential informant, who also was in jail, arranged for Suazo to speak with the undercover detective.
Authorities described Gonzales as Suazo’s “home girl.” She admitted that while he was in jail she and he conspired by telephone, using coded language, to arrange hiring of a hit man.
Gonzales is to be sentenced in June by U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer, who presided at Wednesday’s guilty plea.
Suazo is set for trial next month in Brimmer’s courtroom.
The man whom Suazo allegedly wanted killed was shot by Suazo on July 11 during a carjacking on the 900 block of Catalpa Street, The Chieftain reported at that time.
Gonzales said Suazo had tried to find other hit men before and after he contacted the undercover detective.