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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 13, 2022

MS-13 Fugitive Arrested in Texas

BOSTON – An MS-13 member who was charged in federal court in Boston in 2017 was arrested on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Texas.

William Pineda Portillo, a/k/a “Humilde,” was indicted on one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, on May 15, 2017.

As alleged court documents, MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches, or “cliques,” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. In furtherance of its mission, MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence, specifically against rival gang members; kill informants; and support and defend fellow MS-13 members in attacks. MS-13 rewards members who commit acts of violence with promotions within the gang and punishes members who break gang rules. Portillo was identified as a member of the Trece Loco Salvatrucha, or TLS MS-13 clique, which operated in and around Somerville, Mass. After an arrest warrant was issued for Portillo, agents determined that Portillo had been deported to El Salvador under a different name.

On May 9, 2022, federal agents encountered Portillo near Roma, Texas, and determined that he had previously been deported and was wanted on the outstanding arrest warrant for the RICO conspiracy charge. Portillo made an initial appearance in the Southern District of Texas and was ordered detained pending his return to U.S. District Court in Boston.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Acting Boston Police Commissioner Gregory Long; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Christopher Reddy; Revere Police Chief David Callahan; and Somerville Acting Police Chief Charles Femino made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Rollins’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

The charge of RICO conspiracy provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated May 13, 2022