MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy
Participated in the Armed Robbery of a Brothel
Greenbelt, Maryland -Juan Jiminez-Hernandez, also known as Sniroon, age 23, of Beltsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct and participate in racketeering enterprise activities of MS-13, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Department of Justice Criminal Division. Of 30 alleged MS-13 gang members indicted in this RICO conspiracy Jiminez-Hernandez is the twentieth to be convicted.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of 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. Members of MS-13 frequently engage in criminal activity, including murders, assaults, robberies, kidnappings, and threatening and intimidating of witnesses. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against rival gangs.
MS-13 is organized in “cliques,” including, the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside (“SLSW” or “Sailors”), the Teclas Locos Salvatruchos (“TLS”), and the Langley Park Salvatruchos (“LPS”). Jimenez-Hernandez was a member of the TLS clique.
Beginning at least in 2002 and continuing through November 2005, Jiminez-Hernandez attended MS-13 meetings at which the rules of the gang were discussed, including rules about joining in attacks on rival gang members. On November 14, 2005, Jiminez-Hernandez and four other MS-13 gang members from the TLS clique drove to an apartment in Wheaton, Maryland, intending to rob a prostitution business that was being conducted there. The gang members entered the apartment and brandished a .38 caliber revolver as they robbed the doorman and the prostitute working at the brothel. Two other men who arrived at the brothel were also robbed by the gang members. The hands and feet of all of the robbery victims were bound by the gang members. Jiminez-Hernandez and another MS-13 member raped the prostitute working at the brothel. When Montgomery County police arrived at the scene, Jiminez-Hernandez and three other gang members were found in the apartment. A fourth gang member, who had remained in the car, attempted to warn the other gang members about the arrival of the police, but was unsuccessful. He fled in the car, but was later apprehended by police.
Jiminez-Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for November 10, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. Jiminez-Hernandez remains in federal custody.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich praised the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Prince George’s County Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Police Department; the Howard County Police Department; the Maryland National Capital Park Police; the Maryland State Police and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Trusty and Chan Park, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jaffe, who are prosecuting the case.