18th Street Gang Member Sentenced to over 24 Years in Prison for a Racketeering Conspiracy Related to Gang Activities
Participated in 2009 Abduction and Murder of a 15-Year Old Boy
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Silvia Martinez, a/k/a “Crazy,” age 23, of Washington, D.C., to 293 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with her activities as a member of 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.
According to her plea agreement, from 2007 through March 2010, Martinez, 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, Martinez and other gang members, including Joel Ventura Quintanilla and Ysaud Flores, participated in the kidnapping and murder of 15 year old Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz, who was thought to be a rival gang member. Ventura Quintanilla and another gang member forced Guzman-Saenz into a car in Langley Park, Maryland, then took him to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where Martinez and other gang members became involved. Martinez and other gang members took Guzman-Saenz to a park in Gaithersburg where he was stabbed and beaten by several gang members, including Martinez, causing his death. Guzman-Saenz’s body was found in a creek in the park the next morning.
On February 8, 2009, Martinez and other gang members were at a residence in Gaithersburg discussing the killing of rival gang members. Martinez rode in a car with other gang members into the District of Columbia in search of rival gang members. Ventura Quintanilla and another gang member in the car were both armed with guns. After the car stopped near a restaurant, Ventura Quintanilla and the other gang member approached two men who were standing in front of the restaurant. Ventura Quintanilla shot two men, killing one of the victims, Manuel Garcia-Fuentes, age 24.
Judge Titus previously sentenced gang members Joel Ventura Quintanilla, aka “Clon,” age 25, and Ysaud Flores, a/k/a “Snyder,” age 33, both of Germantown, Maryland, to life in prison and 22 years in prison, respectively. Martinez, Ventura Quintanilla and Flores were also convicted on related state charges in Montgomery County Circuit Court, where Ventura Quintanilla was sentenced to life in prison, and Flores was sentenced to life in prison, with all but 75 years suspended. Martinez is awaiting sentencing in the state case.
A total of seven 18th Street gang members, including Martinez, Ventura Quintanilla and Flores, have been convicted in federal court on charges related to their gang activities and sentenced to between 94 months and life in prison.
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.