Maryland MS-13 Member Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison For Racketeering Conspiracy Including Murder
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Jorge Moreno-Aguilar, aka “Flaco” and “Castigato,” age 24, of District Heights, Maryland today to life in prison. On May 20, 2016, Moreno-Aguilar was convicted of multiple charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, murder in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick County, Maryland. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.
According to evidence presented at trial, from at least 2009 through October 2014, MS-13 members planned and committed murders, attempted murders, assaults, and robberies in Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Frederick Counties. Gang members also extorted brothel operators and owners of other illegal businesses and tampered with and retaliated against witnesses, among other crimes.
According to the trial evidence, in January 2013, Moreno-Aguilar and co-defendant Juan Alberto Ortiz-Orellana, both members of the MS-13 Sailors Locotes Salvatrucha Westside Clique, targeted an individual associated with the rival 18th Street gang, obtained photographs of the victim from Facebook and conspired with other members of MS-13 to murder him. On March 12, 2013, Moreno-Aguilar and Ortiz-Orellana went to Capitol Heights, Maryland, and shot the victim multiple times outside his home, killing him.
In addition, trial evidence showed that on February 23, 2013, co-defendant Minor Perez-Chach, who was a member of the MS-13 Langley Park Salvatrucha (LPS) Clique, followed a man whom he believed to be a member of MS-13 who had testified against MS-13 members in federal trials in Greenbelt, Maryland. In fact, the evidence showed that the victim was not the witness from the previous MS-13 trials. Perez-Chach stabbed the victim to death in his home while another member of MS-13 attacked the victim with a machete. During his arrest on May 20, 2013, Perez-Chach also illegally possessed a firearm and ammunition.
Co-defendant Ortiz-Orellana, age 29, of District Heights, Maryland, was convicted of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, murder in aid of racketeering conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and related firearms charges. Perez-Chach, age 26, of Hyattsville, Maryland. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment on December 1, 2016.
Fourteen of the 15 defendants charged in this investigation have been convicted for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy. The final defendant is a fugitive.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended HSI Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County Police Departments, and Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation and proceedings. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau and Lindsay Kaplan as well as Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick with the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Maryland