MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy Including a Murder and Attempted Murder
Greenbelt, Maryland – Aldair Garcia-Miranda, a/k/a “Callado” and “Poseido,” age 21, of Wheaton, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, including a murder; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and carrying, using, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; Chief Douglas Holland of the Hyattsville Police Department; Chief Edward G. Hargis of the Frederick Police Department; Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; 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 Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against rival gangs.
According to his plea agreement and court documents, from 2013 through at least 2014, Garcia-Miranda was a member of the Normandie clique of MS-13. Garcia-Miranda and MS-13 members committed crimes to further the interests of the gang, including murder, assault, robbery, extortion by threat of violence, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and witness retaliation.
Garcia-Miranda admitted that on November 30, 2013, he and another MS-13 member traveled to Frederick, Maryland, in order kill a person who had fled there from El Salvador when MS-13 in El Salvador had issued an order to kill that person. Garcia-Miranda and the other MS-13 member had in their possession a .380 caliber handgun that belonged to the Normandie clique. An MS-13 member who had lived in Frederick and was familiar with the victim from El Salvador, communicated with the victim and lured him to a wooded area where Garcia-Miranda and the other MS-13 member met them. The victim was killed after the MS-13 member from Frederick shot the victim with the Normandie clique’s gun and Garcia-Miranda and the other MS-13 member stabbed the victim multiple times. A .380 caliber bullet that was recovered from the victim during the autopsy matched a bullet recovered at the scene of a November 11, 2012 murder in the Hyattsville, Maryland, area.
Garcia-Miranda also admitted that on July 30, 2014, he and two other MS-13 members approached three people walking in the area of 30th Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland. Garcia-Miranda and other MS-13 members had traveled to that area with guns to search for and shoot suspected rival gang members who had harassed and tried to steal the bicycle of a person who was a friend of MS-13. Garcia-Miranda and an MS-13 associate, each armed with a .380 caliber handgun, fired multiple shots at the three victims, striking one victim seven times and another victim once. Five shell casings collected at the scene were fired from the same gun that fired the casings recovered at other crime scenes, including murders in Hyattsville on November 11, 2012 and February 28, 2013.
Garcia-Miranda faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the racketeering conspiracy because it included a murder; a maximum of ten years in prison for attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for February 24, 2016, at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, Prince George’s County Police Department, Frederick Police Department, Hyattsville Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and its Strategic Investigations Unit, Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also recognized the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, HSI Baltimore’s Operation Community Shield Task Force, and the Maryland Department of Corrections Intelligence Unit for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau and Lindsay Eyler Kaplan, who are prosecuting this case.