For Immediate Release
Gardena 13 Gang Member Gets 10 Plus Years in Prison
Torrance Man was an 8-Time Convicted Felon
LOS ANGELES – A member of the Gardena 13 gang was sentenced Monday to 123 months in prison for firearm- and drug-related charges after two separate attempts to flee from law enforcement.
Jonathan Gregory Wheeler, aka “Johnny Boy” or “Stix”, 37, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i).
In October 2017, Wheeler, a convicted felon on post-release community supervision at the time, was stopped by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). During the stop, a loaded semi-automatic .32-caliber handgun, approximately 31 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale and currency were seized.
In January 2018, Wheeler fled from police during a vehicle stop by Gardena Police Department. Wheeler led officers on a foot chase eluding police; however, officers located a homemade manufactured handgun and a Glock 9 mm handgun in his flight path. Ammunition, multiple firearm magazines and apparel associated with Gardena 13 gang were recovered from the vehicle.
In March 2018, Wheeler attempted to evade Gardena PD again on a high-speed, violent chase resulting in him ramming patrol vehicles with his car. Upon Wheeler’s arrest, a Glock 9 mm handgun, approximately 12 grams of methamphetamine and counterfeit currency was recovered from his vehicle.
Out of the four firearms recovered in this investigation, one gun was linked via the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) to a homicide that was investigated by LASD. NIBIN technology compares expelled cartridge casings from shooting scenes and recovered firearms
This investigation involved the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Gardena Police Department and the LASD. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Marina A. Torres and Adam P. Schleifer from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction involving firearms and violent crimes, and regulates the firearm industry. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov or on Twitter @LosAngelesATF.