MS-13 members indicted on charges of attempted murder

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Four MS-13 gang members were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday, charged with violent crimes in aid of racketeering; use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.

Charged in the three-count indictment are Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, 20; Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka “El Lunatic” and “Zomb,” 19; Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales, aka “Sicopita,” 19; and Marlon Cruz-Flores, 22, all of Annapolis, Maryland.

Branches or “cliques” of the national and transnational gang are primarily composed of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. In Maryland, MS-13 gangs operate throughout Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery and Frederick counties, federal prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.

According to the indictment, on Oct. 23, 2016, the defendants conspired and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis to get into, maintain and increase position in MS-13.

All of the defendants are currently detained on related state criminal charges. Initial appearances have not yet been scheduled. Read the DOJ press release below:

Four MS-13 Members Indicted in Maryland on Charges of Attempted Murder

A federal grand jury has indicted four MS-13 members today on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering; use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.

The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning for the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Baltimore Office; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Baltimore Office; Police Chief Tim Altomare of the Anne Arundel Police Department; State Attorney Wes Adams of the Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI Baltimore Field Office.

Charged in the three-count indictment is Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, 20; Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka “El Lunatic” and “Zomb,” 19; Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales, aka “Sicopita,” 19; and Marlon Cruz-Flores, 22, all of Annapolis, Maryland.

MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick County, Maryland. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.

According to the indictment, on Oct. 23, 2016, the defendants conspired to and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis, Maryland, for the purpose of gaining entrance to, maintaining, and increasing position in MS-13.

All the defendants are currently detained on related state criminal charges. Initial appearances have not yet been scheduled.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

The investigation was conducted by HSI Baltimore, ATF Baltimore, Anne Arundel Police Department, Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office, and the FBI. Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seema Mittal, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Mildenberg are prosecuting this case.

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