Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy, Including a Murder
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Jeffrey Rodriguez, a/k/a Jefry Francisco Portillo Corvera, or “Hyper,” age 22, a citizen of El Salvador residing in Hyattsville, Maryland, today to 90 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for his participation in the racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. Rodriguez is expected to be deported following completion of his federal prison sentence.
The sentencing was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott Hoernke of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department, Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department, Interim Chief Amal Awad of the City of Hyattsville Police Department, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
According to the plea agreement, MS-13 is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively to engage in criminal activity and to assist one another in avoiding detection by law enforcement. MS-13 members and associates 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.
As detailed in his plea agreement, Rodriguez admitted that from about August 2016, he was a member and associate of the Sailors clique of MS-13. Rodriguez admitted that on August 9, 2016, he and other MS-13 members and associates planned and conspired to rob two individuals of a pound of marijuana, the sale of which would be used to benefit the Sailors clique.
Specifically, Rodriguez admitted that on August 9, 2016, Rodriguez and an MS-13 co-conspirator entered a vehicle occupied by the two victims under the guise that they were going to purchase a pound of marijuana from the victims. Rodriguez and his co-conspirator were armed with a firearm and a knife. Upon attempting to rob the victims, and displaying the firearm, Rodriguez and his co-conspirator became engaged in a violent struggle with the victims, who sustained serious injuries, including gunshot and stab wounds. Rodriguez and his co-conspirator also sustained gunshot wounds. After being shot, Rodriguez and his co-conspirator ran from the victims’ vehicle, got into another vehicle in which another MS-13 member was waiting and drove to a local hospital, where Rodriguez was admitted for treatment.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski praised HSI Baltimore, FBI Washington Field Office, DEA Washington Field Office, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the City of Hyattsville Police Department, the Prince George’s State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur and Mr. Benczkowski thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau, Catherine K. Dick, and Daniel C. Gardner, and Trial Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting this case.
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