WASHINGTON – A member of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering enterprise, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Edward M. Yarbrough for the Middle District of Tennessee announced today.
Jose Alfaro, a.k.a. Liche, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell of the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville. Judge Campbell also ordered Alfaro to serve three years of supervised release.
At his plea hearing on Sept. 25, 2007, Alfaro admitted that he and others involved in the MS-13 gang conspired to participate in a pattern of racketeering activity in the Nashville metropolitan area, which included murder and attempted murder. In addition, Alfaro admitted that on April 12, 2006, he and three other MS-13 gang members fired handguns at a rival gang member and his girlfriend. The rival gang member was struck several times and sustained permanent physical injuries. Alfaro also admitted that on May 21, 2006, he and other MS-13 gang members fired a handgun at an individual who was suspected of being a member of the rival street gang Brown Pride. The victim was struck and wounded in the arm. Finally, Alfaro admitted that on May 22, 2006, he and other MS-13 gang members fired a handgun at an individual they suspected was a confidential informant who had previously provided information about MS-13 activities in Maryland to federal law enforcement authorities.
Alfaro is the third defendant to be sentenced on RICO charges stemming from an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Nashville on Jan. 10, 2007. That indictment charges 14 members of MS-13 with conspiring to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise and related charges including murder, attempted murder, assault, weapons charges, and obstruction of justice. Trial for the remaining defendants is currently scheduled for April 8, 2008.
The MS-13 street gang is a violent international criminal organization composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador. The purpose of the racketeering enterprise was to preserve and protect the power, territory and profits of the MS-13 enterprise through violent assault, murder, threats of violence, and intimidation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur of the Middle District of Tennessee and Department of Justice Trial Attorneys David Jaffe and John Han from the Criminal Division’s Gang Squad.
The case was investigated by the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security, the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Tennessee, and the Gang Squad of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice.