18th Street Gang Members Sentenced To Prison For Participating In A Racketeering Conspiracy Related To Gang Activities
One of the Gang Members Admitted to Involvement in a Murder
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Omar Rafael Villegas-Martinez, a/k/a “Lunar,” age 36, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, yesterday to 23 years 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, including a murder. Today, Judge Titus sentenced co-defendant and fellow gang member Hector Antonio Amaya Flores, a/k/a “Nené,” age 35, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for the racketeering conspiracy and for being an illegal alien in possession of firearm and ammunition.
The sentences were 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.
“The mission of the ATF Regional Area Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Task Force is to conduct complex long term, multi-defendant criminal investigations of violent street gangs while relying on the partnerships of our federal, state and local counterparts,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Chait. “These sentences highlight our dedication to the complete investigation, prosecution and dismantling of the most violent street gangs throughout the State of Maryland.”
According to their plea agreements, Flores and Martinez, natives of El Salvador, were members 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 physically beating the violating gang member 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.
According to their plea agreements, on the evening of May 5, 2007, Martinez and other 18th Street gang members and associates, including Mario Molina-Valladares, were gathered at a member’s residence in Hyattsville, Maryland. Late that night, Martinez and Molina-Valladares 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 Martinez and Molina-Valladares. During the struggle, Carcamo disabled the automobile by kicking the gear shifter located between the two front seats. The struggle continued and either Martinez, Molina-Valladares, or other occupants of the vehicle shot Carcamo twice in the head, causing his death. Martinez and Molina-Valladares either personally killed Carcamo, or they aided and abetted the commission of this crime.
After Carcamo was killed, Martinez and Molina-Valladares have 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. Martinez and other gang members devised a plan to mislead police by telling them that Carcamo was killed as part of a carjacking. Martinez and Molina-Valladares 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.
Flores, who is in the United States illegally, admitted that he was an organizer and leader within the 18th Street gang in the Maryland/DC metropolitan area in 2007, and conducted gang affairs at residences he owned in Riverdale Park and Upper Marlboro, Maryland. On October 15, 2007, Prince George’s County Police officers executed a search warrant at Flores’ home and recovered a 7.62 x 38mm caliber Russian Nagant revolver and a box containing sixteen .32 caliber cartridges in a plastic bag beneath the bathroom sink. Four of these cartridge cases, which were found on top of a drawing relating to the 18th Street gang, had been fired from the Russian Nagant revolver.
Mario Molina-Valladares, a/k/a “Tiger,” age 33, of Hyattsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing. 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 Attorney William Moomau and Jonathan Lenzner, who prosecuted the case.