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Press Release

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant admits responsibility for the murder of a 17-year-old in Lynn

BOSTON – An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 in federal court in Boston and admitted to his participation in a 2018 murder in Lynn, Mass.             

Eliseo Vaquerano Canas, a/k/a “Peligroso,” 21, a national of El Salvador, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO or racketeering conspiracy. As part of his guilty plea, Vaquerano Canas admitted that his racketeering activity involved the July 30, 2018 murder of a 17-year-old boy in Lynn. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for June 18, 2021.

MS-13 is a transnational street gang operating in Massachusetts and numerous other states, as well as countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. MS-13 members follow certain core rules and principles, including that members attack and attempt to kill members of rival gangs, and members do not act as informants or cooperate with law enforcement.

MS-13 is organized in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the form of “cliques” or smaller groups that operate under the larger mantle of MS-13. Vaquerano Canas was a member of the Sykos Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13. Court documents showed that Vaquerano Canas had “homeboy” status in MS-13, which is generally achieved by committing a significant act of violence.

Vaquerano Canas was indicted in federal court in 2018 following an investigation into the murder of a teenage boy whose body was found in a Lynn park on Aug. 2, 2018. The injuries to the victim’s body indicated that the victim had been stabbed dozens of times. As part of his guilty plea, Vaquerano Canas admitted that on or about July 30, 2018, he participated in that murder while a member of the MS-13 gang. 

Vaquerano Canas faces a sentence of up to life in prison. He will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Acting Boston Police Commissioner Gregory Long; and Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary made the announcement.

The remaining defendants in this case are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 16, 2021

Violent Crime