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Press Release

El Salvador citizen who helped local MS-13 members in jail sentenced to prison for reentering United States illegally

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A man who was in frequent communication with imprisoned members of the Columbus clique of MS-13 was sentenced in U.S. District Court today for reentering the United States illegally for the third time.


Fabian Posadas-Mejia, 44, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and one year of supervised release, and is subject to deportation following his prison sentence.


Posadas-Mejia was convicted by a jury following a one-day trial in October 2019.


According to court documents, Posadas-Mejia is a citizen of El Salvador with no legal status in the United States. Immigration officials initially encountered him nearly 25 years ago. Posadas-Mejia was first ordered to be removed from the United States in 1995.  He was deported twice in 2014 and once in 2017.


Most recently, law enforcement officials encountered Posadas-Mejia as part of  the prosecution of numerous members and associates of MS-13 in Columbus.


In the days and weeks following an August 2017 takedown of the transnational gang, investigators monitoring phone calls that MS-13 members were making from jail learned that multiple inmates were in frequent communication with Posadas-Mejia.


The defendant was depositing money in the gang members’ jail accounts, helping them retrieve and dispose of personal property and checking on inmates’ families.


In addition to being removed from the United States three times and being linked to the government’s ongoing prosecution of MS-13, Posadas-Mejia has a previous domestic violence conviction, among other state convictions.


David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Rebecca Adducci, Detroit Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations, announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.  Deputy Criminal Chief Brian J. Martinez is representing the United States in this case.


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Updated March 4, 2020