DENVER – A Pueblo woman and her boyfriend appeared in federal court Friday on charges the two conspired over jail phones to kill the person the man was already behind bars for shooting earlier this year.
Reina Ashley Gonzales, 28, and Ricardo Estevan Suazo, 26, are charged with conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire via interstate commerce – in this case, the phones used by the two to talk.
The criminal complaint for their arrests says a former confidential informant contacted a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent working in Pueblo and put Suazo in touch with him in early September. Both the CI and Suazo were in jail together at the time.
Suazo arranged for the agent to kill the man he had shot in the stomach in July, according to the complaint. Suazo was in jail on first-degree assault with serious bodily injury charges for the shooting, and the complaint says he wanted to have the man killed so he couldn’t testify in the case. However, the man had already testified in a preliminary hearing.
The complaint says Suazo put the agent in contact with Gonzales, who was to facilitate the killing and a $10,000 payment to the agent.
After weeks of going back and forth over the payment, Gonzales eventually stopped talking with the agent.
Suazo had previously bonded out one inmate, who never carried out the murder, according to the complaint. He even tried to bond out another inmate he was incarcerated with to commit the murder-for-hire after he apparently lost confidence in Gonzales’s ability to put the plot together, but that scheme never worked out.
Suazo allegedly has ties to the Surenos East Side Dukes, according to the ATF.
Both Gonzales and Suazo were arrested on the new charges Wednesday. The Pueblo Police Department and ATF continue to investigate the case. A mugshot for Gonzales was not immediately available.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.