18th Street Gang Member Sentenced To Over 24 Years In Prison For Participating In A Racketeering Conspiracy Related To Gang Activities
Admitted His Involvement in a Murder
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Mario Molina-Valladares, a/k/a “Tiger,” age 33, of Hyattsville, Maryland today to 293 months in prison, followed by three 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; Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Chait 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 his plea agreement, Molina-Valladares, a native of El Salvador, 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 Shatto Park Locos, Hollywood Locos and Hoover Locos. 18th Street members operate according to various rules, which the gang enforces by meting out 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. 18th Street gang members often wear tattoos and clothing bearing the number 18, to signify their membership in the gang.
According to his plea agreement, on the evening of May 5, 2007, Molina-Valladares, co-defendant and fellow gang member Omar Rafael Villegas-Martinez, a/k/a “Lunar,” and other 18th Street gang members and associates were gathered at a member’s residence in Hyattsville, Maryland. Late that night, Molina-Valladares and Martinez got into a car driven by fellow gang member Jose Edy Molina Marquez, along with other 18th Street gang members and Jose Felix Carcamo, who was at the residence as well. There was a struggle in the vehicle between Carcamo and the gang members, including Molina-Valladares and Martinez. During the struggle, Carcamo disabled the automobile by kicking the gear shifter located between the two front seats. The struggle continued and Carcamo was shot twice in the head, causing his death. Molina-Valladares and Martinez either personally killed Carcamo, or they aided and abetted the commission of this crime.
After Carcamo was killed, Molina-Valladares and Martinez admitted that they and the other gang members ran back to the Hyattsville residence where they had been before, leaving the automobile and Carcamo’s body on a nearby overpass. Molina-Valladares, Martinez and other gang members devised a plan to mislead police by telling them that Carcamo was killed as part of a carjacking. Molina-Valladares and Martinez directed Marquez and another person to go back to the scene of the murder and lie to police about the murder of Jose Carcamo. 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. Martinez also lied to homicide detectives about the murder in a written statement, made with the intention of deceiving the investigators and impeding the investigation of the murder of Jose Carcamo. DNA consistent with the DNA of Molina-Valladares was found upon fingernail clippings taken from Jose Carcamo during his autopsy.
Martinez, age 36, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to 23 years in prison on November 29, 2011. Jose Edy Molina Marquez, age 33, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was previously sentenced to 94 months in prison for conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation and proceeding, in connection with the investigation of Carcamo’s murder.
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 are prosecuting the case.