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Press Release

MS-13 Member Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy Involving Attempted Murder and Conspiracy to Murder

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

BOSTON – An MS-13 member was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with a 2014 shooting in Chelsea and a 2015 conspiracy to kill a suspected cooperating witness. 

David Lopez, a/k/a “Cilindro,” a/k/a “Villano,” 22, a Salvadoran national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Lopez will also be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. In October 2017, Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

Lopez was a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique, which operated in Chelsea and other parts of Massachusetts. On May 29, 2014, Lopez and co-defendant Daniel Menjivar, a/k/a “Roca,” approached a victim near the Washington Avenue bus stop in Chelsea. Menjivar repeatedly stabbed the victim, and as the victim was struggling for his life, Lopez ran over and shot the victim multiple times in an attempt to ensure that the victim died.  The victim suffered significant life threatening injuries and cardiac arrest, but survived the attack.

Following the May 2014 attempted murder, Lopez fled from Massachusetts to New Jersey. MS-13 members in New Jersey promoted Lopez to “homeboy,” or a full member of MS-13, to reward him for his effort to commit murder. 

Then, in March 2015, members of the ECS clique decided to kill a fellow MS-13 member whom they incorrectly believed was cooperating with law enforcement. Needing a more experienced member to complete the job, MS-13 members went to New Jersey to pick up Lopez so that he could return to Massachusetts to help kill the suspected cooperating witness. Law enforcement became aware of this plan and intervened by moving the victim for his safety before Lopez and others could find and kill the suspected cooperating witness.   

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.

Updated April 26, 2018

Violent Crime