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Press Release

MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Kill Rival Mexican Mafia Inmate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – The last of five federal prisoners charged with conspiring to kill a fellow inmate at United States Penitentiary – Lee, a high-security federal prison for male inmates, pleaded guilty today to federal charges related to the attempted murder.

Carlos Alfredo Almonte, a.k.a. “Rabioso,” 31, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit murder, attempt to commit murder, assault of an inmate with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a weapon by an inmate.

Last week, Julio Angel Chavez, Angel Moreno Guevara, and German Arquimedez Hernandez each pleaded guilty for their roles in the attempted murder of fellow inmate and victim “A.Z.” on January 15, 2020.  Moris Alex Flores pleaded guilty in June 2021.

“To guarantee the civil rights of federal prisoners, they must be able to serve their sentences in environments that are safe and humane and without the fear of violence.  My Office will continue to prioritize the prosecution of violent crimes that occur against those in federal custody, especially at USP-Lee.”  United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “I am grateful to the efforts of the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons for their work on bringing these five, violent offenders to justice.”

“Protecting the civil rights of every citizen and investigating violations thereof is a priority for the FBI, regardless of an individual's status in the community,” Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI’s Richmond Division said today. “The victim being incarcerated did not lessen the importance of this investigation, as we worked closely with our partners to ensure those responsible for his death were brought to justice.”

According to court documents, Almonte, Flores, Chavez, Hernandez, and Guevara - all members of the international criminal gang MS-13 - attacked A.Z. – a member of the rival Mexican Mafia - on January 15, 2020, with the intent to commit murder. Flores and Guevara attacked A.Z. in his cell with metal shanks while Almonte, Chavez, and Hernandez blocked the cell door and fought off other inmates who attempted to interfere with the attack.

A.Z. sustained multiple stab wounds but ultimately survived the attack.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Prisons investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Giorno, Lena L. Busscher, Whit D. Pierce, and Daniel J. Murphy all collaborated on the prosecution of the case.

Updated March 14, 2022

Violent Crime