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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 2, 2020

Salvadoran National Sentenced for Money Laundering Conspiracy and Unlawful Reentry

Defendant sent money to El Salvador to fund criminal activity by MS-13

BOSTON – A Salvadoran man who was a member of the violent gang known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for unlawfully reentering the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Jose Audelino Valle Flores, a/k/a “Mecha,” 33, who previously resided in Lynn, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 33 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.  

According to court documents, Valle Flores was unlawfully in the United States until December 2016 when he was arrested by immigration authorities and deported to El Salvador. In August 2018, immigration authorities again encountered Valle Flores in the United States. He was subsequently charged in this case with unlawfully reentering the United States after his prior removal from the country. 

From approximately 2010 through 2016, Valle Flores was a member of the Everett Locos Salvatrucha (ELS) clique of MS-13.  Members of MS-13 often pay “dues” to their cliques, which is used to further a variety of criminal activity both within and outside of the United States. For example, MS-13 members often send money to El Salvador to further MS-13 gang activity in El Salvador, to purchase weapons, and/or to support MS-13 members who are imprisoned in El Salvador.  

From at least 2014 through at least 2016, Valle Flores conspired with other MS-13 members to send money from the United States to El Salvador with the intent of promoting unlawful activity by the MS-13 gang. As an example of these money transfers, for approximately a year around 2014, Valle Flores collected clique dues from ELS members and sent money to MS-13 leaders in El Salvador.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jason Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated March 2, 2020