18th Street Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Obstruct a Criminal Investigation and Proceeding
Gave False Statements To Law Enforcement Concerning a Gang Murder He Witnessed
Greenbelt, Maryland - Jose Edy Molina Marquez, age 32, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation and proceeding in connection with the investigation of a murder that occurred on May 6, 2007. Marquez, a native of El Salvador, was a member of the 18th Street gang.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Mark P. Sroka of the Gaithersburg Police Department; Interim Chief Mark 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 Glenn F. Ivey.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw stated, “Marquez admitted that he tried to cover up a murder. We hope today’s plea sends a message to other would-be gang members that we are serious about getting dangerous gang members and the violence they bring with them out of our County.”
According to the plea agreement, on May 6, 2007, Marquez was a member of the 18th Street gang, which 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, including the Shattow Park Locos, Hollywood Locos and Hoover Locos. 18th Street members operate according to various rules, which include, to attack and kill persons suspected of belonging to rival gangs; to remain loyal to the gang; and to not cooperate with law enforcement investigating crimes committed by gang members. The gang enforced these and other rules by meting out punishment for their violation, including physically beating the violating gang member for 36 seconds, known as a “36,” or for serious transgressions, ordering and carrying out the murder of a violating gang member; known as a “green light.” 18th Street gang members sometimes wear tattoos and clothing bearing the number 18, to signify their membership in the gang. For example, Marquez had a tatoo of the word “Eighteen” across his back.
According to the statement of facts, on the evening of May 5, 2007, Marquez and other 18th Street gang members and associates were gathered at a member’s residence in Hyattsville, Maryland. Late that night, Marquez got into his car with three other 18th Street gang members and Jose Felix Carcamo, who was at the residence as well. While Marquez drove the car, the other gang members assaulted Jose Felix Carcamo, finally shooting him twice in the head and killing him. Killing Carcamo assisted the gang members in maintaining their position in the gang. After the shooting, Marquez returned to the residence in Hyattsville. Shortly thereafter, in order to protect the gang members responsible for the shooting, Marquez approached law enforcement officers at the scene of the shooting and provided false information, orally and in writing, that individuals other than gang members were responsible for the shooting. Marquez’ false statements prevented information concerning a possible federal offense, the murder of Jose Feliz Carcamo in aid of racketeering activity, from being communicated to law enforcement officers.
Marquez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for April 11, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
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 Michael Pauzé, who are prosecuting the case.