Two Members and Associates of the 18th Street Gang Sentenced to Prison Terms for Violent Crimes Committed in Aid of Racketeering
Defendants Involved in Mid-Day Shooting and Assaults With Dangerous Weapons at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station
WASHINGTON – Two members and associates of the 18th Street gang operating within Washington, D.C. were sentenced today to over five years each in prison for their roles in an attack on rival gang members on the platform of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station on Sept. 17, 2019.
Christopher Molina-Garcia, 21, and Christian Figueroa-Gutierrez, 22, both of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty earlier this year in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of violent crime in aid of racketeering – assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of unlawful possession, brandishing, and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. The pleas were contingent upon the Court’s approval. Molina-Garcia’s plea called for a 5 ½-year prison term, and Figueroa-Gutierrez’s plea called for a range of 60 months to 72 months in prison. The Honorable Randolph D. Moss accepted the pleas and sentenced Molina-Garcia to 5 ½ years in prison, and Figueroa-Gutierrez to 5 years and 4 months in prison. Following their prison terms, each will be placed on three years of supervised release.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, Robert Dixon, U.S. Marshal for the U.S. Marshals Service for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Michael Anzallo, Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
According to the government’s evidence, Molina-Garcia and Figueroa-Gutierrez were members of associates of the international criminal street gang known as 18th Street, which operates in the District of Columbia, and other jurisdictions both within the United States and internationally. The 18th Street gang engages in a variety of criminal activities to include acts of assault, robbery, kidnapping, murder, and firearms trafficking. The 18th Street gang is particularly violent because members are required to commit acts of violence to further the interests of the gang.
On Sept. 17, 2019, at approximately 3:31 p.m., Molina-Garcia and Figueroa-Guiterrez went to the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station in Northwest Washington as part of a group of 18th Street gang members. Metro station surveillance captured the defendants as they engaged in an altercation with another group of rival gang members on the train station platform. The 18th Street gang members began to run towards the rival gang members and Molina-Garcia was seen pulling a large knife out of his waistband while Figueroa-Gutierrez pulled out a meat cleaver from his backpack. The rival gang members then pulled out a set of weapons of their own. Another 18thStreet gang member then pulled a handgun from his backpack and fired two gunshots towards the rival crew. The two gangs immediately dispersed as a Metro train pulled into the station. The defendants admitted to participating in the attack in order to gain entrance to, or to maintain or increase their position in the 18th Street gang.
Molina-Garcia was arrested on May 11, 2021, in Loudoun County, Virginia. Figueroa-Gutierrez was arrested on May 10, 2021, in Irving, Texas. They have been detained ever since.
This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets Task Force. The task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from the District of Columbia area. The United States Marshals Service, the Metro Transit Police Department, and the Metropolitan Police Department also provide valuable collaboration and assistance in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack F. Korba, Gilead Light, and Christopher Marin, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Latoya Wade.