BOSTON –The nationwide leader of MS-13’s Molinos Locos Salvatrucha clique pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to charges of racketeering conspiracy involving murder.
Oscar Duran, a/k/a “Demente,” 27, a Salvadoran national who resided in East Boston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO or racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for June 8, 2018.
After a multi-year investigation, Duran was one of 61 people named in a fifth superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13. MS-13 is one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States with thousands of members across the country, including a sizeable presence in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence, including murder, against suspected gang rivals and those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. The fifth superseding indictment alleges that, from approximately 2014 to 2016, MS-13 cliques in Massachusetts were responsible for, among other things, six murders and approximately 20 attempted murders, as well as robberies and drug trafficking.
MS-13 is organized in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the form of so-called “cliques,” that is, smaller groups acting under the larger mantle of MS-13, with local cliques generally reporting up to national leaders, and ultimately to the leadership of MS-13 based in El Salvador. Duran was the leader of the Molinos clique for the entire United States, as well as the local Boston-area leader of the clique. In that capacity, Duran encouraged and authorized MS-13 members to commit murder. As part of today’s plea, Duran accepted responsibility for authorizing the murder of a 15-year-old who was stabbed to death on Constitution Beach in East Boston on Sept. 7, 2015.
Duran is the 35th defendant to be convicted in this case either after trial or after entering a guilty plea. He is the 6th defendant in this case to be held responsible for murder.
The charge of RICO conspiracy involving murder provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine. Duran will also 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.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; 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; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.