MS-13 Member Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Federal Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Two Attempted Murders
Defendant Shot Two Perceived Members of a Rival Gang at Close Range
Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar today sentenced MS-13 gang member Danny Hernandez Solarzano, a/k/a Titre, age 22, of Montgomery County, Maryland, to 210 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, in connection with his gang activities, including two attempted murders and drug distribution.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Office; Acting Chief Patrick Grossman of the Frederick City Police Department; Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith, III; Chief William Lowry of the Anne Arundel County Police Department; Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess; Interim Chief Hector Velez of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland and our local and state partners are committed to keeping our communities safe from the violent threat of MS-13,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We continue to work with our counterparts here and abroad to prevent gang violence and bring to justice those who bring danger to our streets. We need the continued help of members of our communities in order to carry on our work against MS-13.”
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 Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. Hernandez Solarzano admitted that from January 2016 through 2018, he was a member and associate of the Fulton Locotes Salvatrucha (FLS) clique of MS-13.
At all times of this conspiracy, members of MS-13 were 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 were expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence. MS-13 had mottos consistent with its rules, beliefs, expectations and reputation including “mata, viola, controla,” which translates as, “kill, rape, control,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which means, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.”
MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang, as well as against rival gang members. Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly in violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by gang leadership, increase the respect accorded to that member, resulting in that member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and opens the door to a promotion to a leadership position. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, often referred to as “chavalas,” whenever possible.
According to his plea agreement, during the time of his membership in the FLS clique, Hernandez Solarzano and other FLS members distributed marijuana on behalf of MS-13 in Maryland and FLS members and associates also extorted money from legitimate and illegitimate businesses that operated in the gang’s perceived “territory.” Hernandez Solarzano regularly sold marijuana in and around Wheaton and Langley Park in order to maintain and increase his position in MS-13.
As detailed in his plea agreement, in December 2016, Hernandez Solarzano and other MS-13 members and associates planned and conspired to murder two individuals whom they believed to be rival gang members. Specifically, Hernandez Solarzano and two other FLS members traveled to Aspen Hill in Montgomery County, Maryland to find rival gang members, locating two individuals sitting in a parked car. Believing the two individuals in the car were rival gang members, the group contacted a fourth FLS member to provide them with a handgun. The fourth FLS member brought them the firearm and Hernandez Solarzano took possession of the handgun. Hernandez Solarzano then walked up to the car and fired into the vehicle at close range, striking both individuals. The victims both survived, but suffered serious physical injuries. All of this was done to maintain and increase Hernandez Solarzano’s position in the gang.
A total of 30 defendants have been charged in this case with participating in a racketeering conspiracy and/or other crimes related to their association with MS-13. A total of 19 defendants, including Hernandez Solarzano, have pleaded guilty to crimes related to their participation in MS-13 gang activities.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tiplines that you can call to report what you know. You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you can call HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI; HSI; the Frederick City Police Department; the Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County Police Departments; and the Anne Arundel, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorneys for their work in the investigation, and recognized the Baltimore County Police Department for its assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth S. Clark and Matthew DellaBetta, and Catherine K. Dick, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
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