FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
NOVEMBER 26, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEVENTEENTH MEMBER OF MS-13 GANG CONVICTED OF
Participated in the Murder of Ashley Antonio Urias
Greenbelt, Maryland - Everec Alvarez Chacon, also known as Moreno, age 30, of Washington, D.C., 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 and Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division.
“Seventeen MS-13 gang members now have been convicted in Maryland on federal RICO charges for participating in a racketeering conspiracy, and thirteen other gang members have been convicted on other federal charges over the past two years,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stated, “Our job is not over, but with every MS-13 member who pleads guilty to gang violence, we hope that our hard work has improved the quality of life for the citizens of those communities.”
Glenn F. Ivey, State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County stated, “This guilty plea shows that continued cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement goes a long way towards eliminating the menace of MS-13.”
According to 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.
MS-13 is organized in “cliques,” including the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside (“SLSW”), the Teclas Locos Salvatruchos and the Langley Park Salvatruchos. Chacon became a member of MS-13 while he lived in the vicinity of Sonsonate, El Salvador. Chacon entered the United States illegally in December of 2000 and came to live in Washington, D.C. By May of 2004, Chacon was introduced to various SLSW clique members.
On May 20, 2004, Chacon and two SLSW clique members started talking with Ashley Antonio Urias, in a parking lot in Suitland, Maryland, where they were all drinking beer. Urias claimed to be a member of a rival gang, and after a brief argument, all four individuals decided to go to the Washington National Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland. Chacon drove his vehicle to the cemetery, Urias drove his truck, and all four continued to drink beer.
Late in the evening, a fight broke out. Urias was beaten with a baseball bat and a golf club, suffering several skull fractures, with one blow essentially severing the spine from the base of his brain. Urias was dragged through the cemetery by Chacon and the other SLSW clique members, to an area of dirt and gravel, where they left his body. Urias’s body was discovered by groundskeepers later on May 21, 2004. Also on May 21, 2004, Anne Arundel County police pulled over Urias’s truck, which was being driven by one of the SLSW clique members with Chacon and the other SLSW member as passengers in the truck. The truck was impounded, but none of the three men were arrested at that point.
Chacon and the two SLSW clique members were advised to leave the area, after it was discovered they had been involved in a murder. On May 23, 2004, all three men arrived in Port Washington, New York, at the home of a relative of Chacon.
On June 24, 2004,Chacon was arrested in Port Washington, New York. After Chacon initially denied membership in MS-13, or any knowledge of, or participation in, the Urias murder, he made another statement to investigators. Chacon claimed that he had been drinking heavily for three days and that he was inside his car when an argument broke out between Urias and the SLSW clique members. Chacon stated that one of the SLSW clique members and Urias began hitting each other with bats, but that he did not participate in the fight. Chacon acknowledged dragging Urias out of the cemetery roadway, but claimed Urias was still alive at the time. In fact, Urias could not have survived the most serious blow to his spine (from the golf club) for more than a few seconds and died prior to his body being dragged to the area where it was later discovered.
While Chacon was detained for the murder of Urias in Prince George’s County, he directed that a postcard be written to threaten and persuade the SLSW clique members not to cooperate with authorities. The postcard was sent on February 24, 2005.
Chacon faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for March 17, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Chacon remains in federal custody.
To date, this office has charged 48 gang members with various federal offenses, with 31 defendants charged in this RICO conspiracy case. Seventeen MS-13 gang members have been convicted thus far of a RICO conspiracy. Two MS-13 gang members were convicted at trial in November 2006 of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and conspiracy to commit assaults with a deadly weapon: Oscar Ramos Velasquez, age 22, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 37 years in prison and Edgar Alberto Ayala, age 29, of Suitland, Maryland was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Three MS-13 leaders were convicted at trial in April 2007 on all counts of the racketeering conspiracy involving murder, robbery, obstruction of justice and witness tampering: Henry Zelaya, age 20, and Omar Vasquez, age 28, were sentenced to life in prison and Jose Hipolito Cruz, age 28, of Lanham, Maryland was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Twelve other defendants have pleaded guilty.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the RAGE Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Prince George’s County Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Department of Police; 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 the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy for the assistance that they and their offices provided.
Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Trusty and Chan Park, and Trial Attorney David Jaffe, a prosecutor for the Justice Department’s Gang Squad, who are prosecuting the case.