FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted four MS-13 members today on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering, use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.
The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Baltimore Office; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Baltimore Office; Police Chief Tim Altomare of the Anne Arundel Police Department; States Attorney Wes Adams of the Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office; and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
Charged in the three-count indictment is Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, 20; Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka “El Lunatic” and “Zomb,” 19; Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales, aka “Sicopita,” 19; and Marlon Cruz-Flores, 22, all of Annapolis, Maryland.
MS-13 is a national and transnational 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 Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick County, Maryland. 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.
According to indictment, on October 23, 2016 for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in MS-13 the defendants conspired to and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis, Maryland.
All of the defendants are currently detained on related state criminal charges.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Initial appearances have not yet been scheduled.
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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Schenning and Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco commended HSI Baltimore, ATF Baltimore, Anne Arundel Police Department, Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office and the FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seema Mittal, Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff of the Organized Crime and Gang Section, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Mildenberg are prosecuting this case.