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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Five Alleged MS-13 Members Charged Federally for Their Participation in a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Eight Murders and Four Attempted Murders

New Federal Indictment Adds a New Defendant Charged in a Double Murder by Stabbing and Drug Trafficking; Defendants Hail from New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland and Committed Murders Throughout Virginia and Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury returned an eleventh superseding indictment yesterday, charging five men in connection with a conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.  The eleventh superseding indictment adds a new defendant charged with a racketeering conspiracy related to his membership in MS-13, including a double homicide and drug trafficking.

Charged in the 10-count superseding indictment are Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente” and “Trankilo,” age 23, of Landover, Maryland; Luis Arnoldo Flores-Reyes, a/k/a “Maloso” and “Lobo,” age 39, of Arlington, Virginia; Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, a/k/a “Reaper,” age 38, of Long Branch, New Jersey; Jairo Arnaldo Jacome, a/k/a “Abuelo,” age 38, of Langley Park, Maryland; and Brayan Alexander Contreras-Avalos, a/k/a “Anonimo,” “Malia,” and “Humilde,” age 20, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

The 11th superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; Interim Chief Hector Velez of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Amal Awad of the City of Hyattsville Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

MS-13 is a national and international gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. 

At all times of this conspiracy, members of MS-13 were expected to protect the name, reputation, and status of the gang from rival gang members and other persons.  To protect the gang and to enhance its reputation, MS-13 members were expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence.  MS-13 had mottos consistent with its rules, beliefs, expectations, and reputation including “mata, viola, controla,” which translates as, “kill, rape, control,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which means, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.”

MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang, as well as against rival gang members.  Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly in violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by gang leadership, increase the respect accorded to that member, resulting in that member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and opens the door to a promotion to a leadership position.  One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, often referred to as “chavalas,” whenever possible. 

The 11th superseding indictment alleges that from prior to 2015 through at least January 2018, the defendants, as members and associates of MS-13, engaged in a racketeering conspiracy that included extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and robbery.  Jacome was a member and associate of the Langley Park Salvatrucha Clique of MS-13.  All other defendants were members and associates of the Sailors Clique of MS-13. 

All the defendants except Contreras-Avalos were charged in previous indictments with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise for their involvement in a variety of violent acts committed by the Sailors Clique of MS-13, including multiple murders.

The 11th superseding indictment adds Contreras-Avalos as a new defendant and references his alleged involvement in the 2016 murders of two victims who were believed to be members of the rival 18th Street gang.

Specifically, the 11th superseding indictment charges that in June 2016, Alvarado-Requeno and other high-ranking MS-13 members planned with and directed other members and associates of MS-13 to search for and murder gang rivals known as “chavalas” in and around Hyattsville, Maryland.  On June 8, 2016, Alvarado-Requeno directed Contreras-Avalos and lower-ranking members of MS-13 to murder two individuals who were believed to be members of the rival 18th Street gang.  Pursuant to this plan and as directed by Alvarado-Requeno, Contreras-Avalos, and other MS-13 members and associates stabbed the two victims to death.

Alvarado-Requeno and Jacome also are charged in the 2016 murder of a victim in Germantown, Maryland.  On Dec. 4, 2016, Alvarado-Requeno, Jacome, and other members and associates of MS-13 traveled to Germantown with a machete and other weapons with the purpose of murdering an individual as punishment for his infractions against the gang.  They allegedly stabbed the victim to death, then fled the area leaving the victim’s body near a creek.  The next day, Jacome and other members and associates of MS-13 returned to Germantown to bury the victim’s body.

Alvarado-Requeno, Flores-Reyes, and Corea-Diaz also are charged in the 2017 murder of a victim in Lynchburg, Virginia.  On March 27, 2017, Alvarado-Requeno, Flores-Reyes, and Corea-Diaz arranged for members and associates of the Sailors Clique to travel from Maryland to Lynchburg for the purpose of murdering an individual in the Lynchburg area.  Flores-Reyes provided the vehicle in which the members and associates drove and called them to provide encouragement to murder the victim.  The victim was murdered that same day in Bedford County, Virginia.  On March 27 and March 28, 2017, multiple individuals were arrested in connection with the murder.  Alvarado-Requeno, Flores-Reyes, and Corea-Diaz made phone calls on those dates trying to locate the individuals who had traveled to Virginia to commit the murder.  Two of the participants in the murder escaped from Bedford County and were hidden in Maryland by members and associates of the Sailors Clique.

If convicted, the defendants all face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for the racketeering conspiracy.  Alvarado-Requeno, Jacome, Corea Diaz, Flores-Reyes also face a maximum of life in federal prison for each count of murder in aid of racketeering and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.  Alvarado-Requeno, Corea Diaz, Flores-Reyes, and Contreras-Avalos face a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and Corea Diaz also faces 40 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.  Finally, Flores-Reyes and Jacome face a maximum of 20 years in prison for an extortion conspiracy.  All defendants are in custody.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt thanked the FBI Washington and Baltimore Field Offices, HSI Baltimore, the DEA Washington Field Office, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s State’s Attorney’s Office, the Hyattsville Police Department, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation.  Mr. Hur and Mr. Rabbitt commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Catherine K. Dick and Trial Attorney Julie A. Finocchiaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated October 20, 2020