FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
August 4, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MS-13 MEMBER CHARGED IN 2005 RICO INDICTMENT PLEADS GUILTY TO USING A FIREARM
IN FURTHERANCE OF A RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY
Defendant Agrees to 10 Year Federal Sentence Consecutive to 20 Year State Sentence
GREENBELT Maryland - Jose Pena Aguilar, a/k/a “Smookie,” a/k/a “Smokey,” age 24, of Beltsville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to use of a firearm in furtherance of a conspiracy to participate in the activities of a racketeering enterprise, the MS-13 gang, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement, La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the MS-13 gang (“MS-13"), is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating throughout Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland, and elsewhere. MS-13 is a national and international criminal organization with approximately 10,000 members regularly conducting gang activities in at least ten states and the District of Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador.
According to the statement of facts, Aguilar was an MS-13 member. Between April 20, 2003 and June 10, 2003, Aguilar carried a firearm during a crime of violence involving a conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Specifically, on April 20, 2003, MS-13 members beat a rival gang member in Langley Park, Maryland. An MS-13 member then murdered the victim by shooting him. Aguilar drove the getaway car and stored the gun used in the murder. On June 10, 2003, Aguilar and other MS-13 members attempted to kill a juvenile member of a rival gang outside of High Point Senior High School in Beltsville, Maryland with the same gun. Aguilar, at the urging of another gang member, retrieved the gun from the vehicle and shot the victim in the chest.
Aguilar faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, followed by 5 years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. As part of his plea agreement, Aguilar and the government agree to recommend to the court a federal sentence of 10 years consecutive to the 20 year term of imprisonment he is currently serving in Maryland pursuant to his conviction in the Circuit Court, Prince George’s County, Maryland for attempted first degree murder arising from the attempted murder at High Point Senior High School.
U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for September 11, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. Aguilar remains in federal custody.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Prince George’s County Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Police Department; the Howard County Police Department; the Maryland National Capital Park Police; the Maryland State Police and the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and James Trusty, and Prince George’s County Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Gwinn, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedAugust 4, 2006