News and Press Releases

Maryland MS-13 Gang Leader Apprehended on Charges of Sex Trafficking a Juvenile

August 1, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Yimmy Anthony Pineda Penado, also known as “Critico” and “Spike,” of Montgomery County, Maryland, was arrested on charges of sex trafficking a juvenile. 

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington made the announcement after Pineda Penado had his initial appearance before Judge Theresa C. Buchanan, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. 

            According to court documents and court proceedings, Pineda Penado, a self-admitted member of the street gang Mara Salvatrucha Thirteen, also known as “MS-13,” is accused of prostituting at least one teenage girl in Northern Virginia and Maryland.  Pineda Penado allegedly provided juvenile female runaways with alcohol and drugs in an effort to make them more compliant and receptive to being prostituted.  Pineda Penado “booked” multiple prostitution appointments per day for the juvenile runaway he was prostituting.  According to information obtained during the investigation, at these “appointments,” Pineda Penado instructed the juvenile female he was prostituting to lie about her name and age and act like she was enjoying the sexual intercourse. 

            Following a recent criminal conviction, Pineda Penado is illegally in the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia T. Giles and Zachary Terwilliger are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on
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