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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Leader of MS-13 East Coast Program Pleads Guilty

Defendant was recorded presiding over meeting of East Coast Program

BOSTON – The leader of the MS-13 East Coast Program pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy.

Jose Adan Martinez Castro, a/k/a “Chucky,” 28, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in Richmond, Va., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.  U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26, 2018.

After a three-year investigation, Castro was one of 61 persons named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts.

MS-13 leaders incarcerated in El Salvador oversee individual branches, or “cliques,” that are grouped into “programs” throughout the United States. During the investigation, Castro was identified as the leader of MS-13’s East Coast Program. On Dec. 13, 2015, Castro was recorded as he ran a meeting of East Coast Program clique leaders in Richmond, Va. During the meeting, Castro and others discussed sending money to El Salvador to support MS-13, the need to work together to increase the gang’s strength and control, and the need to violently retaliate against anyone who provided information against the gang.

Castro is the 25th defendant to be convicted.

Castro faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief James Guido; Somerville Police Chief David Fallon; and Herndon (VA) Police Chief Maggie A. DeBoard made the announcement.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated November 28, 2017