MS-13 Gang Member Pleaded Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy
Participated in Two Murders and Two Attempted Murders While a Juvenile
Greenbelt, Maryland - Carlos Antonio Martinez, also known as Lobo, age 21, of Hyattsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct and participate in the racketeering enterprise activities of MS-13, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
According to the plea agreement, La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating throughout Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland and elsewhere. MS-13 is a national and international criminal organization with approximately 10,000 members.
MS-13 is organized in “cliques,” including the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside, the Teclas Locos Salvatruchos and the Langley Park Salvatruchos (“LPS”). In 2002, Martinez was “jumped-in” to the gang and received the gang name of “Lobo.” Martinez was a member of the LPS clique.
On June 1, 2004, Martinez, James Guillen and other MS-13 members confronted individuals whom they believed to be rival gang members. Montgomery County Police were called to the scene and recovered a butterfly knife from Guillen’s vehicle.
According to his plea agreement, at some time prior to October 25, 2004, Martinez attended a meeting of the LPS clique in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in which clique leaders discussed their belief that Nancy Diaz was providing information to a rival gang and needed to be killed. On October 25, 2004, Guillen drove two other MS-13 members, Ms. Diaz and another juvenile female in his car, and dropped them off at the George Washington National Cemetery, knowing that the MS-13 gang members planned to kill the two girls. At some point prior to the drive to the cemetery, Martinez furnished the two MS- 13 members with the clique gun.
According to the plea agreement and trial testimony, the other MS-13 members shot and killed Nancy Diaz. They shot the other girl in the face and stabbed her twice in the chest to attempt to make sure she was dead, then left the scene. The second girl survived the attack.
On March 26, 2005, MS-13 gang members were involved in a confrontation with rival gang members outside a strip mall in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The gang members contacted Martinez, who arrived on the scene with another MS-13 member. Martinez admitted that he and the other MS-13 member searched for the rival gang members and, upon identifying a car containing some of the young men, the other MS-13 member took out a .38 caliber revolver, wrapped in a dark colored bandana, and fired several shots from the driver’s seat of his car, killing a fifteen year old named Jose Arias. A bullet also struck the clothing of another young man. The other MS-13 member and Martinez then left the scene and met up with the participants in the initial verbal confrontation, where they discussed disposing of the evidence of the crime, including the gun and the car.
By mid-August, 2005, several senior members of the LPS clique had been arrested and incarcerated. According to the plea agreement, LPS members determined that Martinez was worthy of being promoted from treasurer to “second word” (a leadership position), and served in that role until his arrest on August 25, 2005.
Martinez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for August 12, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
James Guillen, a/k/a “Toro,” age 23, of Hyattsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy in connection with his gang activities and was sentenced to 262 months in prison.
To date, this office has charged 51 MS-13 gang members with various federal offenses; 23 gang members have been convicted at trial or pled guilty to RICO charges and 19 have pleaded guilty to other charges, mostly immigration or gun violations.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer praised the RAGE Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Prince George’s County Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Department of Police; the Howard County Police Department; the Maryland National Capital Park Police; the Maryland State Police; and the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy for the assistance that they and their offices provided.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Breuer commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chan Park and Robert K. Hur, and Trial Attorney James M. Trusty, of the Justice Department’s Gang Unit, who are prosecuting the case. Nancy Oliver, formerly a Trial Attorney with the Gang Unit, assisted in the prosecution.