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Press Release

Six Members of Violent Transnational Gang Convicted in Connection With Two Killings and Racketeering Activity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendants Found Guilty in Murder and Kidnapping Rival Gang Members

            WASHINGTON – Six members of “18th Street,” a violent international street gang, were found guilty in U.S. District Court on an array of charges that included racketeering, kidnapping, and murder.

            The convictions were announced today by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division, ICE Deputy Director Russ Hott of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO), and Chief Pamela A. Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            A federal jury in Washington D.C. deliberated for three days before delivering the verdicts to U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The Court published the verdicts on Friday and today. Judge McFadden scheduled sentencings for September 20; September 27; October 4; and October 11, 2024.

            The 18th Street organization engages in a variety of criminal activities throughout the United States, including in the District, Virginia, and Maryland Its activities have included acts of murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery, witness intimidation, and firearms and narcotics trafficking to fuel the gang’s violent operations. The gang is active throughout Central and South America -- particularly in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- and has established a presence in Europe. It uses violence to maintain control over specific geographical areas.

            This investigation began in 2019 and looked into the full breadth of criminal activity 18th Street was involved in within the greater D.C. metropolitan area. As the investigation into 18th Street’s racketeering activities progressed, it began to center on a series of murders, attempted murders, and kidnappings of suspected rivals and members suspected of disloyalty. 

              One such act was the attempted murder of C.H. on May 21, 2021. With respect to that offense, the evidence at trial showed that Jexon Madrid-Flores and another 18th Street member brandished a firearm at C.H. as the latter stopped at a convenience store in Columbia Heights that afternoon during the middle of an afternoon bike ride.  Defendant Madrid-Flores and the other gang member then followed C.H. and pulled up their vehicle alongside the victim, who was riding his bike in the bike lane. From their vehicle, the other 18th Street member discharged multiple rounds at C.H. in broad daylight, striking C.H. in the leg.  The evidence showed that Madrid-Flores believed the victim to be a member of a rival gang and had hoped for a promotion within 18th Street for attempting to murder a potential rival. 

            The investigation also entailed the July 14, 2021, murder of Carlos Ramos Martinez in a wooded area near Elkton, MD. Martinez, aka “FIRE,” was a member of a rival faction of 18th Street called the Revolucionarios and was believed to be recruiting members away from the  LCB clique. According to the seven-count superseding indictment, Jose Santos Alvarado-Velasquez and Gerlin Neptali Diaz-Lopez killed Ramos Martinez. Carlos Rolando Martinez-Mora and Jose Anselmo Ibarra-Cristales participated in planning and facilitating the slaying, respectively. Alvarado-Velasquez, Diaz-Lopez, and Ibarra-Cristales were in the U.S. illegally at the time.

            The investigation also involved a second murder committed in Rockville, MD, on December 19, 2021. According to the superseding indictment, Rolando Martinez-Mora planned and ordered the killing of a suspected member of MS13, Danis Alcides Salgado Mata.  As a result, Mata was shot and killed on the heels of his mother’s wedding celebration.  Mata’s mother and stepfather were also shot but survived their injuries.

            A dozen members of 18th Street were arrested and charged in the conspiracy. The first trial against six of the defendants commenced on April 10, 2024, and concluded last week. A second group of 18th Street gang members will be tried in July 2024.

        According to the indictment, members of 18th Street are required to commit acts of violence to further the interests of the gang. These violent acts are often directed against rival gang members, 18th Street members who violate gang rules or otherwise disrespect the gang, and persons who are suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. Additionally, 18th Street members sell and transport narcotics, weapons, and other contraband to generate money to support the gang and its criminal activities. Some of the proceeds of this criminal activity are wired to members of the gang’s leadership in other countries. 18th Street members control geographical areas and use violence to maintain their control.

            18th Street – a gang founded in Los Angeles that now includes up to 50,000 members – is organized into “cliques,” or smaller groups operating within specific cities or regions that all operate under the umbrella rules of 18th Street to include the following: the Tiny Locos Sureños (TLS), Los Crazy Brothers (LCB), and the Revolucionarios.

           This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

            This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Enforcement Removal Operations, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department. The District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences and the Montgomery County, Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office provided valuable assistance.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Korba, Will Hart, and Sitara Witanachchi. Valuable assistance was provided by former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gilead Light and Christopher Marin.      








Jose Santos Alvarado-Velasquez,

Takoma Park, MD







Los Crazy Brothers

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)  -Conspiracy; Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR)- Murder;
Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death; Kidnapping Resulting in Death; Discharge of a Firearm – Crime of Violence; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm – Illegal Alien

Gerlin Neptali Diaz-Lopez

Washington, D.C.



Tiny Locos Sureños

RICO-Conspiracy; VICAR-Murder; Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death; Kidnapping Resulting in Death; Discharge of Firearm – Crime of Violence; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm – Illegal Alien

Jose Anselmo Ibarra-Cristales

Beltsville, MD



Los Crazy Brothers

RICO-Conspiracy, VICAR-Murder; Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death;

Carlos Rolando Martinez-Mora

Hyattsville, MD



Los Crazy Brothers

RICO-Conspiracy; VICAR-Murder x2; Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death; Kidnapping Resulting in Death

Bradley Andree Martinez-Mora

Hyattsville, MD



Los Crazy Brothers

RICO-Conspiracy; Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death

Jexon Madrid-Flores

Boston, MA



Tiny Locos Sureños

RICO-Conspiracy; Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping Resulting in Death

VICAR-Attempted Murder;

VICAR-ADW; Brandishing a Firearm During a Crime of Violence; Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence; Aggravated Assault while Armed


Updated May 15, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-414