Jose Aguilar, also known as Slim, received a 22-year prison term for his role in the murder of 19-year-old Gerson Romero on August 11, 2018, according to the US Attorneys Office. His co-defendant, Jonathan Escobar, had previously been sentenced to 26 years in prison.
Aguilar confessed to being a member of the 19th Street/16th Street Sureños, a criminal group contributing to the gang violence problem in San Francisco.
United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and San Francisco Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Tatum King announced the sentencing on September 5, 2023, with a commitment to reclaiming the streets from violent street gangs.
This determination reflects a nationwide battle against the brutal world of gang violence. The 19th Street/16th Street Sureños formed by merging two distinct gangs allegedly controlled a territory in San Francisco defined by streets like Dolores and Folsom.
Aguilar and Escobar were part of a group that mistakenly targeted Romero and his friends in 2018, believing them to be rival gang members. Seeking revenge for a prior drive-by shooting, they shot at the group, even after Romero had fallen.
The sentencing of Aguilar and Escobar provides some measure of justice. Special Agent in Charge King expressed the hope that it would bring solace to those who suffered the senseless loss of loved ones.