Pain & Gain: Former Coral Springs Firefighter Denies Connection to Infamous Murders
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives think that former Coral Springs firefighter Santiago Gonzalez maybe, possibly, might have been part of the infamous Pain & Gain killings (now a major motion picture starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, based on a New Times story).
On Monday, Gonzalez, 49, pleaded guilty to attempted drug-trafficking and weapons charges in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
But agents say his bragging about having some connection to the murders might land him in even hotter water. Gonzalez has vehemently denied having anything to do with the murders.
So far, Gonzalez isn't facing homicide charges. But agents say an informant of theirs claims that the former firefighter was involved in the murders of wealthy Hungarian couple Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton in 1995.
Their grisly murders, and the gory disposal of their bodies, are the basis of the New Times story and film.
The Hungarians were decapitated and had their bodies stuffed into 55-gallon oil drums. The drums were then dumped into a canal near the Everglades in Miami-Dade County. Their severed heads were found near I-75 in Broward County sans teeth, to avoid easy identification. Three men were convicted for their roles in the murders. Two of them are currently serving on death row.
Acting on the tip from their informant, the agents set up a sting to nab Gonzalez. They set him up to be the security detail for a man who planned to sell 67 pounds of cocaine throughout South Florida.
Gonzalez claims that the agent's informant was a friend of his for more than 15 years. He told judges on Monday that his so-called connection to the Pain & Gain murders was created by the informant to use as an excuse for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to go after him.
Pain & Gain, the movie, is slated to be released in April.
Gonzalez is facing up to 15 years on his drug-trafficking and weapons charges.