Baltimore, Maryland – On November 30, 2022, a federal grand jury in Maryland returned an indictment charging four members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking. Three of the defendants are scheduled to have initial appearances beginning at 3:00 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The following defendants, all from Baltimore, are charged with racketeering conspiracy:
Wilson Arturo Constanza-Galdomez, a/k/a “Humilde” and “Marco Saravia,” age 23;
Edis Omar Valenzuela-Rodriguez, a/k/a “Little Felon,” age 22;
Jonathan Pesquera-Puerto, a/k/a “Truney,” age 21; and
Wualter Orellana-Hernandez, a/k/a “Solotario” and “Little Diablo,” age 21.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Interim Chief Dennis J. Delp of the Baltimore County Police Department; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
According to court documents, La Mara Salvatrucha gang, also known as “MS-13”, is an international criminal organization composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and throughout the United States. In Maryland and elsewhere, MS-13 members are organized in “cliques,” smaller groups that operate in a specific city or region. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible. In Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MS-13 maintained rivalries with the 18th Street Gang, the Cruddy Boys, the Highlandtown Boys, the Surenos Gang, and the Bloods gang, among others.
Constanza-Galdomez and Pesquera-Puerto allegedly were members or associates of the Carlington Locos Salvatrucha (CALS) clique and Valenzuela-Rodriguez and Orellana-Hernandez allegedly were members of the Huntington Criminales Locos Salvatrucha (HCLS) clique. The indictment alleges that, from June 2019 through at least October 2021, the defendants participated in the racketeering activities of MS-13, including two murders, four attempted murders, drug trafficking offenses, and witness tampering.
As detailed in the indictment, on April 25, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, Orellana-Hernandez and other members and associates of MS-13 conspired to assault Victim 1, whom they suspected was a rival gang member. That same day, they allegedly assaulted Victim 1 in Baltimore, by striking him with machetes multiple times. Other members and associates of MS-13 subsequently reported the assault to MS-13 leadership. On May 14, 2020, Valenzuela-Rodriquez and another MS-13 member allegedly attempted to lure Victim 2 to Patterson Park, where Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, and other MS-13 members and associates attempted to murder Victim 2 by stabbing him with a knife.
The indictment alleges that on May 29, 2020, the defendants lured Victim 3, whom they suspected of associating with rival gang members, to a park in Cockeysville, Maryland, where they stabbed her multiple times, murdering her. Another MS-13 member served as a look-out to make sure they were not arrested by law enforcement while they murdered Victim 3.
On June 5, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, Orellana-Hernandez, and other MS-13 members and associates allegedly lured Victim 4, whom they suspected was a rival gang member that cooperated with law enforcement, to an area near the CSX Bayview Yard in Baltimore, where they murdered her. As detailed in the indictment, Victim 4 was stabbed numerous times with sharp objects. After the murder, members and associates of MS-13 reported the murder to MS-13 leadership in an effort to get credit for participating and to increase their status within MS-13.
The indictment also details the conspiracies to commit murder and the attempted murders of two other victims. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to murder Victim 5, whom they believed was a rival gang member. On June 6, Constanza-Galdomez and other MS-13 members forced Victim 5 to go to an area in Baltimore, where Victim 5 was stabbed multiple times. Similarly, in June 2020, the defendants and other MS-13 members conspired to murder Victim 6, who had been previously “greenlit” (ordered to be killed for a serious violation of MS-13 rules). On June 6, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Pesquera-Puerto, and other MS-13 members and associates forced Victim 6, at knifepoint, to go to Dundalk, Maryland to murder him. The defendants then attempted to murder Victim 6 by stabbing him multiple times with knives. Both Victim 5 and Victim 6 survived the attacks.
Further, the indictment alleges that from 2019 through 2020, the defendants conspired to distribute marijuana, cocaine, and fentanyl, to raise funds for MS-13 to purchase drugs and weapons for the gang and to send proceeds of the drug sale to MS-13 members and associates in Maryland and other states and in El Salvador to support the gang.
If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of life in federal prison for the racketeering conspiracy. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tiplines that you can call to report what you know. You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you can call HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. commended the FBI, HSI, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Baltimore City Police Department, and the Baltimore County and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation and thanked the United States Marshals Service for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Anatoly Smolkin and Trial Attorney Matthew K. Hoff of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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