A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a firearms charge in the 2000 cold case murder of a Newtown, Connecticut man killed while he was driving on I-84.
Danbury resident Alex Garcia, 37, made his plea before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven and faces 30 years in federal prison when sentenced, said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.
Mark Rebong, 28, was found in the driver’s seat of his idling vehicle in the vicinity of Exit 2 off of I-84 in Danbury on Jan. 17, 2000. He was on his way to the Danbury Hilton, where he worked as a night auditor. He had been shot once in the head and died the next day at Danbury Hospital.
“This defendant brutally and senselessly murdered Mark Rebong mistaking him for someone else,” said Daly. “Mark was a complete innocent gunned down while driving to work, which makes his death all the more tragic. I thank the DEA, Danbury Police and State Police for never abandoning the search for Mark’s killers, and for achieving justice for Mark and his loved ones. We hope that this conviction brings his family some measure of solace. The investigation of this matter continues.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, the investigation revealed that Garcia was a member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, better known as the Latin Kings. In late December 1999, there was ongoing dispute in Danbury between the Latin Kings and another criminal gang, the Crips. On Dec. 28, 1999, the dispute escalated with the shooting of a high-ranking member of the Crips.
On Jan. 17, 2000, Garcia was a passenger in a vehicle traveling westbound on I-84. The driver of the vehicle, a high-ranking member of the Latin Kings, saw Rebong driving near them on the highway and told Garcia to shoot at Rebong’s vehicle. Garcia then used an assault rifle to fire two rounds at the vehicle, hitting Rebong in the head.
Rebong was neither a member of a gang nor engaged in any criminal activity.
Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and will be sentenced Sept. 20. Garcia could have faced a maximum of life in prison, but in a binding plea agreement, the parties agreed on a sentence of 30 years in prison.
Garcia is in state custody serving an unrelated 40-year prison sentence.
This case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven District Office, the Danbury Police Department and the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad, with assistance from the Connecticut Department of Correction and the Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office.
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