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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Two MS-13 Members Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy and July 2018 Murder of Teenager in Lynn

BOSTON – Two members of the violent transnational criminal gang known as “La Mara Salvatrucha” or “MS-13” pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to RICO conspiracy and admitted to their participation in the July 2018 murder of a teenage boy in Lynn. 

Erick Lopez Flores, a/k/a “Mayimbu,” 31, of Lynn, and Marlos Reyes, a/k/a “Silencio,” 20, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty in separate proceedings before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, also known as RICO conspiracy, on behalf of the MS-13 gang. As part of their plea, the defendants admitted that on July 30, 2018, they participated in the murder of  a teenage boy who was murdered with extreme atrocity and cruelty, and with deliberate premeditation, in violation of Massachusetts law. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2020

According to court documents, MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. MS-13 members often commit acts of violence against rival gang members, those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, and others. In recent years, dozens of MS-13 members have been convicted of RICO conspiracy and other serious felonies in the District of Massachusetts. 

Both Lopez Flores and Reyes belonged to the “Sykos Locos Salvatrucha” clique of MS-13, which operated in Lynn, Chelsea and other parts of Massachusetts. Lopez Flores was one of the leaders of the Sykos clique. Both defendants admitted that their racketeering activity on behalf of MS-13 included acts involving murder. 

Specifically, Lopez Flores and Reyes admitted that they participated in the July 30, 2018 murder of a teenage boy, whose body was found in a wooded area in Lynn on Aug. 2, 2018.  The victim was found dead with dozens of sharp force trauma wounds consistent with being stabbed numerous times. The investigation revealed that Lopez and others had lured the victim to the wooded park a few days prior, where they murdered him because they did not believe he was sufficiently loyal to the group. 

Lopez Flores and Reyes are two of six alleged MS-13 members arrested in October 2018.

The charge of RICO conspiracy involving murder provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine up to $250,000 and restitution. 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; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary made the announcement . The Boston, Chelsea, and Peabody Police Departments, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, provided valuable assistance with the investigation.

The case was investigated by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

The details contained in the charging documents are merely allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.       

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 24, 2020