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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Leader Of MS-13 In Honduras And Drug Supplier For MS-13 Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Racketeering, Narcotics Trafficking, And Firearms Offenses

Yulan Andony Archaga Carías, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” the Leader of MS-13 in Honduras, Named to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, DEA’s Most Wanted Fugitives List, and HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John J. Durham, Director of Joint Task Force Vulcan (“JTFV”), Anne Milgram, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Jay Greenberg, Acting Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Steve Francis, Acting Executive Associate Director, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment in Manhattan federal court charging YULAN ANDONY ARCHAGA CARÍAS, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” and DAVID CAMPBELL, a/k/a “Viejo Dan,” a/k/a “Don David,” with committing racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses.  ARCHAGA Carías, a Honduran national, remains at large and has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, the DEA’s Most Wanted Fugitives List, and HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List.  CAMPBELL, a Honduran national, is currently in custody in Nicaragua.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Yulan Andony Archaga Carías is MS-13’s highest-ranking member in Honduras, responsible for trafficking multi-ton shipments of cocaine into the U.S. and ordering and overseeing the multiple violent acts carried out to make those shipments happen.  These allegedly included numerous murders of rivals.  David Campbell was, until his capture, allegedly one of Archaga Carías’s major suppliers of drugs and guns, and he planned and coordinated violent acts with Archaga Carías.  Campbell is in custody, and now a reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of Archaga Carías.”

JTFV Director John J. Durham said: “MS-13 violence, fueled by drug trafficking and firearms, has a devastating impact across the United States and Central America.  The indictment unsealed today, which charges the highest ranking leader of MS-13 in Honduras and one of MS-13’s alleged main drug suppliers in Honduras, shows that no leader of MS-13 is beyond the reach of the Department of Justice and United States law enforcement.  JTFV gratefully appreciates its partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle MS-13’s command and control structure throughout the Western Hemisphere.”

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said: “For decades, MS-13 has been synonymous with extreme violence and brutality.  The only way to weaken and disrupt criminal organizations that wreak havoc on our communities is to attack them at their core – their leadership and suppliers.  DEA’s successful investigation leading to today’s charges, along with the addition of Archaga Carías to the DEA and FBI most wanted lists, represent a significant stride in our efforts to stop the devastating effects of MS-13’s violent drug trafficking activities that endanger the safety and health of Americans.”

Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division said: “This indictment demonstrates the resolve of the FBI to aggressively pursue transnational criminal gangs like MS-13.  We will work with our law enforcement partners to find wanted fugitives wherever they seek refuge and hold them accountable for their crimes."

HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Steve Francis said: “Today’s announcement highlights our commitment to working with domestic and international law enforcement partners to dismantle gangs like MS-13.  By contributing our unique capabilities to this joint effort, Homeland Security Investigations is helping to make our nation safer.”

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is a transnational criminal organization that engages in acts of violence, including murders, kidnapping, assaults, extortion, and large-scale drug importation and distribution throughout Central America and the United States.  ARCHAGA CARÍAS is the highest-ranking member of MS-13 in Honduras.  As the leader and highest-ranking member of MS-13 in Honduras, ARCHAGA CARÍAS is in charge of, among other things, the gang’s drug trafficking operations, ordering and coordinating acts of violence, including numerous murders, and the laundering of drug proceeds.  MS-13’s drug trafficking operations led by ARCHAGA CARÍAS include the processing, receiving, transporting, and distributing of multi-ton loads of cocaine shipped through Honduras and into the United States. 

ARCHAGA CARÍAS and other MS-13 members and associates acting at his direction also provided protection for other drug trafficking organizations (“DTOs”) engaged in transporting multi-ton loads of cocaine through Honduras and destined for the United States.  ARCHAGA CARÍAS contracted out members of MS-13 as “Sicarios,” or hit men, to other DTOs for payment.  In that role, members of MS-13 committed numerous murders for hire for DTOs trafficking cocaine through Honduras to the United States.  ARCHAGA CARÍAS and MS-13 also supplied other DTOs with firearms, including machineguns, that were received from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.  ARCHAGA CARÍAS also ordered multiple murders of rival gang members and drug trafficking competitors in Honduras, as well as other members of MS-13 who ARCHAGA CARÍAS believed had been disloyal to the gang. 

CAMPBELL was one of the principal suppliers of cocaine and weapons, including machineguns, to MS-13.  As an associate of MS-13 and close confidant of ARCHAGA CARÍAS, CAMPBELL planned and coordinated retaliatory acts of violence with ARCHAGA CARÍAS, and assisted MS-13 and ARCHAGA CARÍAS in establishing businesses to launder the gang’s drug proceeds.  CAMPBELL and MS-13 used businesses they owned or controlled to launder drug proceeds, including through banks in the United States.

*                      *                      *

ARCHAGA CARÍAS, 39, of Honduras, remains at large, and has now been named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List (https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten), the DEA’s Most Wanted Fugitives List (https://www.dea.gov/fugitives), and HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List.  The FBI is offering up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of ARCHAGA CARÍAS.  Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of ARCHAGA CARÍAS can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.  CAMPBELL, 54, of Honduras, is currently in custody in Nicaragua on local charges.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years in prison.  A chart containing the charges and statutory minimum and maximum penalties for the defendants is set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, DEA, and HSI. 

The case is being handled by JTFV and the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Jacob Warren and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher A. Eason are in charge of the prosecution.   

Since its creation in August 2019, JTFV has successfully implemented a whole-of-government approach to combatting MS-13, including increasing coordination and collaboration with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners; designating priority MS-13 programs, cliques and leaders, who have the most impact on the United States, for targeted prosecutions; and coordinating significant MS-13 indictments, including the first use of national security charges against MS-13 leaders.  JTFV has comprised members from U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, including this Office, the Eastern District of New York, the Eastern District of Texas, the District of New Jersey, the Northern District of Ohio, the District of Utah, the Eastern District of Virginia, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Alaska, the Southern District of Florida, the Southern District of California, the District of Nevada, and the District of Columbia, as well as the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.  All Department of Justice law enforcement agencies are involved in the effort, including the FBI, DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  In addition, HSI plays a critical role in JTFV.  The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (“OCDETF”) also supports JTFV in its mission.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.      

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MIN./MAX. PENALTIES

1

Racketeering conspiracy

 

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

YULAN ANDONY ARCHAGA CARÍAS, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” and

 

DAVID CAMPBELL,

a/k/a “Viejo Dan,” a/k/a “Don David”

Life in prison

 

 

2

Narcotics importation conspiracy

 

21 U.S.C. § 963

YULAN ANDONY ARCHAGA CARÍAS, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” and

 

DAVID CAMPBELL,

a/k/a “Viejo Dan,” a/k/a “Don David”

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

3

Using or carrying a machinegun during and in relation to, or possessing a machinegun in furtherance of, a narcotics trafficking crime

 

§§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 924(c)(1)(B)(ii)

YULAN ANDONY ARCHAGA CARÍAS, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” and

 

DAVID CAMPBELL,

a/k/a “Viejo Dan,” a/k/a “Don David”

 

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison

4

Machinegun conspiracy

 

18 U.S.C. § 924(o)

YULAN ANDONY ARCHAGA CARÍAS, a/k/a “Alexander Mendoza,” a/k/a “Porky,” and

 

DAVID CAMPBELL,

a/k/a “Viejo Dan,” a/k/a “Don David”

Life in prison

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
james.margolin@usdoj.gov nicholas.biase@usdoj.gov (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
21-310
Updated November 3, 2021