FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
January 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MS-13 MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY TO RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY
Participated in A Stabbing and Assaults
Greenbelt, Maryland - Walter Noel Barahona, also known as “Lil Loco,” age 23, of Hyattsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct and participate in racketeering enterprise activities of an MS-13 gang, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Of 22 alleged MS-13 gang members indicted in 2005 on RICO conspiracy and other charges, Barahona is the eighth to plead guilty. Two others have been convicted at trial and four other defendants are scheduled to go to trial in March. No trial date has been set for the remaining defendants, including nine who face a determination as to whether the United States will seek the death penalty.
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 (hereafter “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.
Beginning at least in 2001 and continuing through August 2005, Barahona attended various MS-13 meetings and paid dues to the gang. On September 17, 2004, Barahona and other MS-13 gang members took part in the stabbing of a rival gang member near the a night club in Langley Park, Maryland. The victim was hit and cut with beer bottles, kicked and stabbed in the hands.
On June 7, 2005, Barahona and other MS-13 gang members assaulted two youths with bottles and a knife in Langley Park. Barahona fought with one of the youths, a rival gang member. The victim was forced to hold on to Barahona to prevent another MS-13 gang member from stabbing him. The victim was hit with a stick across his fingers and kicked when he subsequently fell. The victim’s mother was able to eventually disperse the attackers after threatening to call police.
On October 21, 2003 a 17 year old man was walking home from school when he was assaulted by Barahona and other MS-13 gang members. The victim was punched and struck with a wooden bat. A bystander threatening to call the police halted the assault. The victim had swelling and red marks on his face, arm and leg.
Barahona’s home was searched in December 2004 and August 2005. Gang paraphernalia was found. His telephone number was recovered from the memory of a telephone seized at an address where MS-13 members were discovered, where a videotape of Teclas Locos Salvatruchos (TLS) members in El Salvador was recovered, saluting the Maryland TLS members.
Barahona faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for April 16, 2007. Barahona 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 James M. Trusty and Chan Park, and Trial Attorney David Jaffe, a prosecutor for the Justice Department’s Gang Squad, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 16, 2007