MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Attempted Murder of Gang Rival
BOSTON – A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha clique in Chelsea, Mass., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving the attempted murder of a rival gang member.
Daniel Menjivar, a/k/a “Roca,” a/k/a “Sitiko,” 22, 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, and admitted responsibility for the attempted murder of a rival 18th Street gang member in Chelsea in May 2014. Menjivar is the 16th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Dec. 4, 2017. According to the plea agreement, at sentencing the government will argue that in addition to the attempted murder, Menjivar also participated in an April 2015 conspiracy to kill an MS-13 member that the gang believed (incorrectly) was cooperating with law enforcement authorities.
In court filings and at today’s plea hearing, Menjivar was identified as a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea. On May 29, 2014, Menjivar and another MS-13 member repeatedly stabbed and shot a rival 18th Street gang member on Washington Avenue in Chelsea. The victim survived the attack.
In addition, the government advised at today’s plea hearing that in April 2015, agents used a cooperating witness to secretly audio and video record Menjivar and two other MS-13 members as they plotted to murder an individual identified in the superseding indictment as Victim 22, an ECS “paro” or probationary member whom they believed was cooperating with law enforcement.
After a three-year investigation, Menjivar was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.
The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend that Menjivar be sentenced to 13 years in prison. Menjivar 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.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Truco 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 Joseph Cafarelli; 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.