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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Six MS-13 Members Born in El Salvador Indicted in Maryland on Charges Ranging From Racketeering Conspiracy, Murder, and Attempted Murder

A federal grand jury has indicted today six MS-13 members, five of whom were unlawfully in the United States, on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including racketeering conspiracy; murder in aid of racketeering; violent crimes in aid of racketeering; use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. 

The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning for the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Baltimore Office;  Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Baltimore Field Division; Police Chief Timothy J. Altomare of the Anne Arundel Police Department and State Attorney Wes Adams of the Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office.

Charged in the nine-count indictment are alleged MS-13 members and associates Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales aka Sicopata, 19; Marlon Cruz-Flores, aka Little S, 22; Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, 20; Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka El Lunatic and Zomb, 19; Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, aka Picaro, El Pastor, and Gasper, 20; and David Diaz-Alvarado, 20. All the defendants except Cruz Flores, of Annapolis, Maryland, were illegally residing in Annapolis. 

MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Frederick County, Maryland.  MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang.  One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.

According to the indictment, at least prior to in or about 2015, and continuing through at least in or about 2017, Reyes-Canales, Cruz-Flores, Gomez-Jimenez, and Martinez-Aguilar, participated in a racketeering conspiracy that included assaults, murder, attempted murder, robbery, and drug trafficking. 

According to the indictment, MS-13 members and associates conspired to murder a rival gang member.  On or about March 11, 2016, Sandoval-Rodriguez lured the victim to a park in Annapolis, Maryland with the intent to murder the victim.  On or about that same date, Cruz-Flores, Gomez-Jimenez, Sandoval-Rodriguez, and Diaz-Alvarado, and other members and associates of MS-13 murdered the victim in Annapolis, for the purpose of gaining entrance to, maintaining, and increasing position in MS-13.

According to the indictment, on Oct. 23, 2016, Reyes-Canales, Cruz-Flores, Gomez-Jimenez, and Martinez-Aguilar conspired to and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis, for the purpose of gaining entrance to, maintaining, and increasing position in MS-13.  Reyes-Canales, Cruz-Flores, Gomez-Jimenez, and Martinez-Aguilar, and other members and associates of MS-13 attempted to kill one of the victims by stabbing the victim multiple times and attempted to kill a second victim by shooting and stabbing the victim multiple times.  

All of the defendants are currently detained on related federal or state criminal charges.  Initial appearances have not yet been scheduled.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

The investigation was conducted by HSI Baltimore, ATF Baltimore, Anne Arundel Police Department and Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office.  Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seema Mittal, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Mildenberg of the District of Maryland are prosecuting this case.

Press Release Number: 
18-382
Updated March 29, 2018