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Press Release

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy and Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A member of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to charges of racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy.

Rutilio Portillo, a/k/a “Pantera,” 34, a Salvadoran national who resided in Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, as well as conspiracy to distribute marijuana. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for June 7, 2018.

After a three-year investigation, Portillo 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. Portillo was a “homeboy,” or full member, of MS-13’s Everett Locos Salvatrucha (ELS) clique. During the investigation, law enforcement officers recorded conversations between Portillo and a cooperating witness in which Portillo discussed ongoing MS-13 activities in Massachusetts and admitted to conspiring with MS-13 members to distribute marijuana. 

Portillo is the 34th defendant to be convicted in this case. The charge of RICO conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, a minimum of two years of supervised release, and a fine of no greater than $250,000. Portillo will be subject to deportation upon the completion of their 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.

Updated March 15, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime