MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced to 55 Months in Prison for Illegally Re-entering the U.S.

February 16, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - Late yesterday, U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Felix Noel Arevalo-Cantarero, a/k/a “Felix Noe Arevalo-Cantarero,” age 26, an El Salvadoran residing in Silver Spring, Maryland, to 55 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally re-entering the United States after having been previously deported. In announcing his sentence, Judge Bredar cited Arevalo-Cantarero’s history of violent crime in connection with his membership in the MS-13 gang.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel Kim C. Dine, Chief of the Frederick Police Department; Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith; and Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore.

The government presented evidence that Arevalo-Cantarero is a member of a La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the MS-13 gang (hereafter “MS-13"), a violent street gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating throughout Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Howard County and Frederick County, and elsewhere in Maryland and the United States. Members of MS-13 frequently engage in criminal activity, and are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against rival gangs.

In 2009, Arevalo-Cantarero was part of an MS-13 assault. In that case, Arevalo-Cantarero and two other men approached two males and one female shouting derogatory slurs. One of the males was dressed as a woman at the time of the assault. Arevalo-Cantarero and the others identified themselves as members of MS-13 and began throwing rocks at the victims. One of the victims was hit in the head by a rock, fracturing the victim’s skull, and causing severe internal bleeding. The victim suffered significant pain, memory loss, and a loss of motor function. Arevalo-Cantarero was convicted of first degree assault in Montgomery County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 20 years incarceration, with all but six months suspended. On November 18, 2010, after being released from prison from the assault conviction, Arevalo-Cantarero was deported to El Salvador and was ordered not to reenter the United States without official permission.

Sometime prior to July 31, 2011, Arevalo-Cantarero illegally returned to the United States and resided in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area.

On July 31, 2011, Frederick police officers, responding to a report of a stabbing, found Arevalo-Cantarero in a playground, suffering from numerous cutting/stabbing wounds to the head and neck. He was taken to Hagerstown Medical Center and was arrested upon his release from the hospital. Further investigation revealed that Arevalo-Cantarero is an active member of MS-13, and is part of the Fulton Clique, which is active in the Frederick area. Arevalo-Cantarero was in Frederick attending a party, along with other MS-13 members and associates when the stabbing occurred. Investigators found that the stabbing was related to MS-13 activity.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the Frederick Police Department, Hagerstown Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case.

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