MS-13 gang shot-caller convicted of murder and racketeering
Two leaders of one of the largest street gangs in the United States, MS-13, were sentenced to life in federal prison on murder, racketeering and racketeering charges.
Luis Flores-Reyes, 42, of Arlington, Virginia, and Jairo Jacome, 40, of Langley Park, MD, were convicted in the case, federal authorities said in a statement Wednesday.
They were accused of being involved in at least six murders, including two minors. In one instance, the gang stabbed to death two homeless people they believed to be gang rivals but had no gang affiliations, officials said.
“Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC are all a lot safer with these two people off the street,” Lead Special Agent James Harris, who heads Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore, said in one press release.
MS-13 is an international gang made up of immigrants from El Salvador and other Central American countries, officials said.
Jacome was the senior member of a Capital Beltway clique that blackmailed companies by charging them “rent” to operate in the MS-13 area. Flores-Reyes was a leader of a clique claiming turfs in Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Texas and El Salvador, authorities said.
Jacome directed and participated in the 2016 killing of a 14-year-old MS-13 gang member suspected of informing police about the gang, authorities said. His remains were discovered more than 18 months after his death in the woods outside of Germantown, about 30 miles north of Washington.
In a 2017 case, a gang member accused of murder and hiding from Virginia police killed a high school student for marijuana, authorities said.
“Gang members abducted the student from his front lawn and cut off his hand before killing him,” officials said. “After the murder, Flores-Reyes helped hide the killers and shield them from prosecution.”
In addition to the violence, the gang deals drugs and sends proceeds to gang leaders through structured transactions and other methods to avoid scrutiny by law enforcement.
They are using any means necessary to compel respect from those who have shown disrespect, authorities said.
“One of the main rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals,” authorities said.
The case follows the announcement last month of indictments against three senior members of MS-13 in New York on a drug terrorism and criminal conspiracy spanning two decades across the United States, El Salvador and Mexico.
US Attorney Breon Peace said authorities in the US and Central America were dismantling the gang from top to bottom.
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