18th Street Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy Related to Gang Activities
Participated in 2009 Abduction and Murder of a 15-Year Old Boy and Shooting Death of a 24-Year Old Young Man
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Joel Ventura Quintanilla, aka “Clon,” age 25, of Germantown, Maryland today to life in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with his membership in the 18th Street gang.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Marino F. Vidoli of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Mark P. Sroka of the Gaithersburg Police Department; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Cathy Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department; Chief Larry Brownlee of the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division; Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
“Anyone who wonders about the impact of pernicious gangs that spawn senseless violence need look no further than this case,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. ”Joel Ventura Quintanilla, a member of the 18th Street gang, kidnapped and murdered an innocent 15 year old boy and shot to death a 24 year old man whose only offense was that the killers mistakenly thought they belonged to rival gangs.”
According to his plea agreement, from 2007 to 2009 Ventura Quintanilla, a native of El Salvador, was a member of the 18th Street gang. The gang originated in the Los Angeles, California area and operates in Central America and across the United States, including Maryland. The gang is divided into subsets called cliques, and operates according to rules which the gang enforces by punishment for their violation, including beating the violating gang member. For serious transgressions, the gang will “green light” or order the murder of a gang member.
On January 18, 2009, Ventura Quintanilla and another gang member forced 15 year old Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz, who was thought to be a rival gang member, into a car in Langley Park, Maryland and drove Guzman-Saenz to Gaithersburg, Maryland. Ventura Quintanilla and other gang members took the victim to a park in Gaithersburg where Ventura Quintanilla and several gang members stabbed and beat Guzman-Saenz to death. Guzman-Saenz’s body was found in a creek in the park the next morning.
On February 8, 2009, Ventura Quintanilla and other gang members were at a residence in Gaithersburg discussing the killing of rival gang members. Ventura Quintanilla and other gang members rode into the District of Columbia in search of rival gang members. Ventura Quintanilla and another gang member exited the car near a restaurant located in the 3900 block of 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Ventura Quintanilla and the other gang member, both armed with guns, approached two men who were standing in front of the restaurant. Ventura Quintanilla shot at the two men striking both of them. One of the victims, Manuel Garcia-Fuentes, age 24, died from his wounds.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the members of ATF-led Regional Area Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Task Force, including the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI and the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County State’s Attorneys’ offices for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William Moomau and Jonathan Lenzner, who prosecuted the case.