Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Kevin Alexis Rodriguez-Flores, age 20, of Annandale, Virginia to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and conspiracy to destroy and conceal evidence related to the murder of a MS-13 gang member.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy; Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Department; and Sheriff David P. Decatur of the Stafford County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office.
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 Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the United States. Members of MS-13 are 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 are expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence. 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. Another principal rule of MS-13 is that its members must never cooperate with law enforcement. Violation of this rule results in an order of death for the offender.
According to his plea agreement, from 2018 to April 2019 Rodriguez-Flores was a member of the Enfermos Criminales Salvatruchas MS-13 clique and associated with members of the Los Ghettos Criminales Salvatrucha clique (LGCS) of MS-13. During this time period, Rodriguez-Flores and other members of the LGCS clique discussed committing racketeering acts, including killing a member of the LGCS clique (Victim 1) as well as rival gang members.
Specifically, on March 8, 2019, Rodriguez-Flores and other LGCS clique members, met at the Hyattsville, Maryland residence of the LGCS clique leader to question Victim 1’s possible cooperation with law enforcement. During the interrogation of Victim 1, the clique leader and gang members threatened and assaulted Victim 1 as the gang suspected that Victim 1 was cooperating with law enforcement. Gang members, including the clique leader, used knives to repeatedly cut and stab Victim 1. After Victim 1 was taken into the basement of the residence, the clique leader ordered Victim 1 to be killed. Gang members, including Rodriguez-Flores, stabbed Victim 1 with knives until Victim 1 was dead. Victim 1 died as a result of Rodriguez-Flores and the other gang member’s actions. According to the autopsy report, Victim 1 sustained a total of 144 wounds: 68 stab wounds and 76 cutting wounds. The autopsy also reported that the victim’s left internal jugular vein was cut and left carotid artery, an artery within the throat cavity, was transected.
Following the murder of Victim 1, the clique leader ordered three MS-13 members to dispose of Victim 1’s body in Virginia. According to the plea agreement, gang members subsequently burned the body of Victim 1. Rodriguez-Flores and other members remained at the clique leader’s residence and attempted to destroy evidence of Victim 1’s murder. This included disposing of blood in the basement and removing blood stained carpet.
After the MS-13 members returned from disposing of Victim 1’s body, co-conspirators cleaned the car, particularly the trunk area, in an attempt to remove evidence of the murder of Victim 1. Rodriguez-Flores remained at the residence of the clique leader until the following day, March 9, 2019, when he and other MS-13 members traveled back to Virginia.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the FBI, HSI Baltimore, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department, and the Stafford County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Moomau and Erin B. Pulice, who prosecuted the case.
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