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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 30, 2019

MS-13 Member Sentenced to More Than 24 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiring to Participate in a Violent Racketeering Enterprise, Including Murder

Admits Involvement in a Murder and Two Shootings and Stabbings

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis today sentenced Kevin Alexis Hernandez-Guevara, aka “Stop,” age 22, a citizen of El Salvador illegally residing in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, to 292 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a federal racketeering conspiracy relating to his participation in the activities of the gang known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, including murder and drug dealing.

The guilty plea 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; Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jesse Fong of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division; Acting Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Amal Awad of the City of Hyattsville Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

“MS-13 gang members, like Hernandez-Guevara, show little regard for life, using violence to hurt, to rob, and to kill.  We will continue our relentless pursuit of violent MS-13 gang members to stop this type of violence and make our neighborhoods safe,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. 

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. 

Pursuant to his plea agreement, Hernandez-Guevara admitted that from at least July 2016, he was a member and associate of the Sailors Clique of MS-13.  Hernandez-Guevara admitted to participating in numerous acts in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy.

For example, according to the plea agreement, on or about July 29, 2016, Hernandez-Guevara and three other members and associates of MS-13 planned and conspired to murder an individual, who was believed to be a member of a rival gang.  On July 29, 2016, pursuant to that plan, Hernandez-Guevara and other MS-13 members and associates lured the victim to a secluded area in Hyattsville, Maryland.  One of the MS-13 members and associates shot at the victim, and missed.  Hernandez-Guevara collected the fired shell casings from the gunshots fired by Hernandez-Guevara’s co-conspirator.  Multiple MS-13 members and associates then assaulted and stabbed the victim with the intention of killing him.  The victim died as a result of injuries sustained during this attack, which included 61 sharp-force injuries.

Also, according to the plea agreement, on or about Aug. 9, 2016, in Hyattsville, Hernandez-Guevara and other MS-13 members and associates planned and attempted to rob two individuals of a pound of marijuana that they were going to sell to Hernandez-Guevara and his co-conspirators.  During the attempt, the two individuals resisted.  In the course of the struggle, the two individuals were shot, stabbed, and sustained serious, permanent, and life-threatening bodily injuries.  Hernandez-Guevara and another co-conspirator were also shot. 

Hernandez-Guevara also admitted to distributing less than one kilogram of marijuana for and on behalf of the Sailors Clique.  His activities included receiving and distributing marijuana and proceeds from the sale of marijuana. 

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski commended the FBI, HSI, the DEA, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s State’s Attorney’s Office, the City of Hyattsville Police Department, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their investigation.  Mr. Hur and Mr. Benczkowski thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau, Catherine K. Dick, and Trial Attorney Julie Finocchiaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who prosecuted this case.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated August 30, 2019