A Hyattsville, Maryland, man pleaded guilty to charges related to his participation in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, including participating in a murder.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department; Chief Douglas Holland of the Hyattsville Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks made the announcement.
Jose Rodriguez-Nunez, aka Killer, 27, pleaded yesterday before Senior U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus of the District of Maryland to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
MS-13 is a national and transnational gang with branches or “cliques” operating throughout the United States, including in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Frederick County, Maryland. In pleading guilty, Rodriguez-Nunez admitted that he was a member of MS-13 and an associate of the MS-13 Weedons Clique.
According to his plea agreement, beginning in 2010, Rodriguez-Nunez conspired with members and associates of MS-13 to engage in crimes to further the interests of the gang, including murder, assault, robbery, extortion by threat of violence, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and witness retaliation. Specifically, Rodriguez-Nunez admitted to his role as the driver in a drive-by shooting on Dec. 5, 2012, in which another MS-13 member shot at three individuals believed to be gang rivals, killing one and wounding another. After the shooting, Rodriguez-Nunez fled the scene to avoid being identified, he admitted.
In addition to Rodriguez-Nunez, eight other defendants have pleaded guilty and three have been convicted at trial for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy.
HSI Baltimore, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Hyattsville Police Department and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office investigated the case. The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, HSI Baltimore’s Operation Community Shield Task Force and the Maryland Department of Corrections Intelligence Unit provided assistance in the investigation. Trial Attorney Catherine Dick of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau, Lindsay Eyler Kaplan are prosecuting this case.