Police & Fire

Press Releases

FBI Seeks NJ Gang Member Wanted for Plainfield Murder

de425ba1488ed0f37ab0_Gomez.jpg
de425ba1488ed0f37ab0_Gomez.jpg

A New Jersey gang member wanted in connection with a brutal, premeditated murder has been named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and a reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his capture.

Walter Yovany Gomez, in his early 20s at the time of the 2011 murder in Plainfield, New Jersey, was attempting to become a full member of MS-13 by carrying out a gang-ordered killing. It didn’t matter that the target was Gomez’s friend—the man had allegedly shown disrespect to the gang.

Part of the Plainfield Locos Salvatrucha (PLS) crew, Gomez was assigned the hit when his bosses heard that one of their associates had been seen socializing in a bar with a rival 18th Street Gang member. Ordering a murder for such a sign of disrespect is not uncommon for MS-13, a transnational gang known for its extreme violence.

Sign Up for E-News

“To become a full-fledged member of MS-13,” said Special Agent Dan Brunner, who is investigating the case from the FBI’s Newark Division, “you have to kill someone on behalf of your local clique, or crew. Only then can you get the MS-13 letters tattooed on your body,” Brunner explained. “Gomez had not earned his letters yet.”

On May 8, 2011, Gomez—known to his friends as Cholo—invited himself and a co-conspirator to the victim’s house. Another person was there who was not involved in the plot. The four were drinking, smoking weed, and watching TV. “They were all friends,” Brunner said. “The victim had no reason to suspect that he was going to be murdered.”

 

The victim, Julio Matute, partied with his friends all night. Early the next morning, as he was getting dressed to go to work, Gomez grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and struck Matute in the back of his head several times. When he fell to the floor, Gomez cut his throat with a knife, then grabbed a screwdriver and repeatedly stabbed him in the back.

“He was stabbed so many times that when his body was discovered a week later,” Brunner said, “police officers thought that he had been shot with a shotgun.”

Gomez’s fellow attacker was later arrested, but when police went to Gomez’s residence, he jumped out a rear window and fled into the woods. Later investigation revealed that he drove to Maryland with assistance from fellow MS-13 gang members.

A Honduran citizen who came to the U.S. illegally, Gomez is not believed to have left the country. He may be residing in Maryland or Northern Virginia, where there are thousands of MS-13 members, Brunner said. Or he may have returned to New Jersey. “He would probably be considered a higher-ranking member of the gang now,” Brunner added.

With the exception of Gomez, all of the gang members involved in Matute’s murder have been prosecuted. In 2013, Gomez was charged with murder in the aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory life sentence (Gomez’s fellow attacker received a mandatory life sentence).

Brunner believes the $100,000 reward in the case will bring someone forward. “It is unlikely that a fellow MS-13 member would turn Gomez in,” he said, “but he works construction doing dry wall, and someone on a construction crew not involved with the gang could recognize him and do the right thing. This is an extremely violent criminal who needs to be captured.”

Anyone with information concerning Gomez should contact the nearest FBI office or local law enforcement agency, or submit a tip online.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e857502c2eb9d7c0b161_bhm

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Celebrate Black History Month at the Plainfield ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

“Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists” Features ...

Arts & Entertainment

Plainfield's Mayor Mapp: The Youth are Setting Examples for All of Us

February 23, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - I am so inspired and moved by the courage and leadership being shown by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who lost their friends and classmates in one of our nation's most horrific school shootings just over one week ago. These students have taken an unspeakable tragedy and turned it into a powerful and positive force for change. Their efforts are inspiring a ...

Statement by Mayor Colleen Mahr

February 23, 2018

First, congratulations to Chairman Nick Scutari. I look forward to working alongside him as 1st Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee. 

For the last three weeks, this campaign for UCDC Chair displayed the power we have and the voice we share. You are the leaders, citizens and activists who are helping shape our future. What you do in your hometowns and participating in the ...

Senator Cory Booker To Connect With Activists in Live Stream Q&A Hosted by Action Together New Jersey

February 24, 2018

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ, – Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will discuss legislation before Congress, update activists on key issues, and take viewers’ questions in a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m., hosted by Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ).

The event is the first in a planned series designed to connect activists with politicians and officials, giving them an ...

Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para personas sin seguro o con seguro insuficiente

February 21, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Ciudad de Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para quienes no tienen seguro o están asegurados.

El programa está patrocinado por el Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey y el Programa de Vacunas para Niños (VFC). Las vacunas están disponibles los martes de 1 a 5 p.m. y los jueves de 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. en el Edificio Anexo del Ayuntamiento, 510 ...

¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

PLAINFIELD, NJ - ¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

Los servicios estarán disponible en los siguientes lugares:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habrá disponible ayuda con la aplicación para números de ITIN y también habrá Auto
Preparación de ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not the first time she has asked me for money, and not the last, I am sure. She grew up the daughter of a privileged family and cruised to Europe frequently when she was a child. Her wardrobe came from ...

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

 

Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange characters who remind us of our pioneer past, to St. Dale, a masterpiece about the legendary car racer, Dale Earnhardt in McCrumb's NASCAR series, McCrumb's poetic language and attention to ...