Greenbelt, Maryland – Celvin Eulice Ramos-Meija, a/k/a “Cadejo,” age 21, of Columbia, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy and attempted murder in aid of racketeering related to his membership in La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.
The guilty plea announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief Tom Kemp of the Greenbelt Police Department; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
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 Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick, Maryland. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence within the gang and against rival gangs. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.
According to the plea agreement, from at least 2012 until at least 2016, Ramos-Mejia was a member and associate of the Sailors Locos Salvatrucha Westside (“SLSW,” or “Sailors”) clique of MS-13. In order to maintain and increase his position in MS-13, Ramos-Mejia admitted that he and other members and associates of MS-13 conspired to murder a victim that Ramos-Mejia and his co-conspirators had identified as a “chavala.”
Specifically, on June 6, 2016, Ramos-Mejia and other members and associates of MS-13 approached the victim in Greenbelt, Maryland. Ramos-Mejia made an MS-13 sign in the face of the victim, and then he and his co-conspirators began to attack the victim. Ramos-Mejia was armed with a knife and stabbed the victim during the attack. The victim survived the attack but sustained multiple stab wounds and injuries including lacerations to his abdomen, liver, and diaphragm. The victim was hospitalized for ten days as a result of the attack.
Ramos-Mejia faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison each for the conspiracy, and for attempted murder in aid of racketeering. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for June 22, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco commended HSI Baltimore, the Greenbelt and Prince George’s County Police Department, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Blanco thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Lindsay Eyler Kaplan, and Trial Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting the case.