Alleged Members of the 18th Street Gang Indicted in a Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Five Murders, Extortion, Armed Robbery and Obstructing Justice
ALLEGED MEMBERS OF THE 18TH STREET GANG INDICTED IN A RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY INVOLVING FIVE MURDERS, EXTORTION, ARMED ROBBERY AND OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury today indicted the following alleged members of the 18th Street Gang for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, which engaged in murder and attempted murder, including the murder of three individuals in Maryland and two individuals in Washington, D.C., armed robberies, and obstruction of justice:
Mario Molina-Valladares, a/k/a “Tiger,” age 32, of Hyattsville, Maryland;
Edgar Mauricio Rogel Vasquez, a/k/a “Paradise,” “Carlos Mauricio Barahona” age 25, of
Omar Rafael Villegas-Martinez, a/k/a “Lunar,” age 35, of Gaithersburg, Maryland;
Hector Antonio Amaya Flores, a/k/a “Nené,” age 34, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland;
Jose Rivera Dominguez, a/k/a “Pirra,” age 20, of Silver Spring, Maryland;
Ysaud Flores, a/k/a “Snyder,” age 31, of Germantown, Maryland; and
Joel Ventura-Quintanilla, a/k/a “Clon,” age 24, of Germantown, Maryland.
All of the defendants are charged in the RICO conspiracy. Molina-Valladares, Vasquez and Martinez are also charged with conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation and proceeding and obstruction of a criminal investigation and proceeding. Amaya Flores is also charged with being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition and Dominguez is charged with making false statements.
The second superseding indictment 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; Chief Roberto L. Hylton 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 Raymond M. Kight and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the six count superseding indictment, the 18th Street 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, including the Shatto 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.
The superseding indictment alleges that as part of the conspiracy, on May 5, 2007, Molina-Valladares, Vasquez and Villegas-Martinez murdered Jose Carcamo in Hyattsville, Maryland. After the murder, the indictment alleges that Molina-Valladares, Vasquez and Villegas-Martinez directed that false information about the shooting of Jose Carcamo be provided to law enforcement officials. Thereafter, the indictment alleges that Martinez and another gang member provided false information about the murder to law enforcement. The indictment charges that on approximately January 19, 2009, Flores and Ventura-Quintanilla participated in the kidnapping and murder of Dennys Guzman-Saenz in Gaithersburg, Maryland and on February 8, 2009, Flores and Ventura-Quintanilla murdered Manuel Garcia-Fuentes, in Washington, D.C. Further, the indictment alleges that on December 31, 2008, in Hyattsville, Maryland, an 18th Street gang member shot and killed Jairon Osorio and on May 10, 2009, an 18th Street gang member stabbed and killed Julio Palestin-Lascarez in Washington, D.C.
The indictment also charges Amaya Flores with being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition and charges Dominguez with making false statements to agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on February 23, 2010, falsely stating that he was not a member of the 18th Street gang, had never attended an 18th Street gang meeting, and that he did not know the 18th Street gang members whose photos agents showed him.
Molina-Valladares, Vasquez, Villegas-Martinez, Flores and Ventura-Quintanilla face a maximum sentence of life in prison, and Amaya Flores and Dominguez face a maximum of 20 years in prison, on the racketeering conspiracy. Molina-Valladares, Vasquez and Villegas-Martinez also face 20 years in prison for conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation and proceeding; obstructing a criminal investigation; and obstructing a criminal proceeding. Amaya Flores also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and Dominguez also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for making false statement. The defendants are in custody.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
U.S. Attorney Rosentstein expressed his appreciation to District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; and Prince Georges County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, and their offices, for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
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 and the FBI for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William Moomau and Michael Pauzé, who are prosecuting the case.