Aurora gang member pleads guilty to murder in case of mistaken identity

Fidel Bello | Kane County Sheriff's Office

An Aurora man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2021 shooting of another man in the western suburb.

Prosecutors said 19-year-old Fidel Bello and two other members of the same street gang went out on May 24, 2021 in search of rival gang members in enemy territory.

One of the men he was with, Cesar Ponce, pointed out individuals who were standing outside of a residence. Bello open fired and killed 46-year-old Samuel Ortiz-Rodriguez.

"Mr. Bello and Mr. Ponce were on a mission to kill a rival gang member that evening. Samuel Ortiz-Rodriguez, while not specifically their target as they were out hunting, was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thanks to all of the citizens who provided information to the Aurora Police Department in this investigation," Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Lori Anderson said in a statement.


Ponce was convinced of first-degree murder in March. He faces a minimum sentence of 35 years in prison.

Bello's next court appearance is scheduled for May 31 for sentencing.

He faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The third individual has not been charged.