An indictment was unsealed Tuesday charging two alleged MS-13 members residing in Hyattsville, Maryland, with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion. Both defendants remain in custody following one of their detention hearings earlier today.
The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan, U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland, Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI Washington Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office, Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks, Chief Douglas Holland of the Hyattsville Police Department, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
Jairo Arnaldo Jacome, aka “Abuelo,” 36, and Gerdandino Delgado-Escobar, aka “Pumba,” 23, are charged in the one-count indictment that alleges a conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion beginning at least in or around March 2013 and continuing through April 2018. According to the indictment, Jacome and Delgado-Escobar are alleged to be members and associates of the Langley Park Salvatruchas (LPS) clique of MS-13. Both defendants are in custody. Jacome was ordered detained pending trial following a detention hearing today.
The indictment alleges that MS-13 is an international criminal enterprise that is active throughout the United States. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including in Prince George’s County, Maryland, MS-13 generates income from various sources, including the extortion of sums of money from persons who engage in business activities such as controlled substances sales, illegal brothels, and unlicensed “stores” where items such as food, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes are sold, as well as legitimate businesses including food and beverage sales or distributors. The indictment further alleges that members of the gang often refer to these extortion payments as “rent.”
Jacome is alleged to have threatened business owners from whom he demanded “rent” payments. According to the indictment, in or around 2015, Jacome allegedly threatened one extortion victim with a gun, grabbed the victim by the neck and hit the victim, telling the victim that Jacome was a member of the “Mara” and that the victim was required to pay “rent” to Jacome for his business or else Jacome would send people to kill the victim’s family. The indictment further alleges that Delgado-Escobar allegedly took extortion payments on behalf of Jacome and the LPS clique.
An indictment is is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Daniel C. Gardner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland are prosecuting this case.