BALTIMORE – An investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Baltimore subject workplace not too long ago culminated in a prolonged jail sentence for a member of La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational legal enterprise often known as MS-13. After a three-month trial, Jose Joya Parada, a/ok/a “Calmado,” age 20, was sentenced to 50 years in federal jail, adopted by three years of supervised launch on April 20, for racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and associated violent crimes in help of racketeering.
The three-month trial targeted on 4 brutal murders, in two of which Parada personally participated. The federal jury additionally convicted Milton Portillo-Rodriguez, a/ok/a “Little Gangster,” age 26; Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, a/ok/a “Picaro,” age 22; and Oscar Armando Sorto Romero, a/ok/a “Lobo,” age 22; on the identical fees. Portillo-Rodriguez, Sandoval-Rodriguez, and Sorto Romero have been moreover convicted of a number of counts of homicide in help of racketeering.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ), the Frederick Police Division; the Frederick County Sheriff’s Workplace; the Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County Police Departments; and the Anne Arundel, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorneys’ Places of work assisted within the investigation.
“This sentencing marks an incredible victory for regulation enforcement and law-abiding residents throughout the state of Maryland,” stated Particular Agent in Cost James R. Mancuso, of HSI Baltimore. “MS-13 is a infamous legal enterprise, and Mr. Joya Prada is one in every of its most harmful members. Any time we will take somebody like this off of the streets, we’re making our neighborhood safer for its residents. We’re grateful for all of our federal, state, and native regulation enforcement companions, all of whom can share on this victory.”
The investigation established that between 2015 and 2017, the defendants engaged in drug trafficking, extortion, and brutal acts of violence towards suspected rivals of the gang in an effort to extend MS-13’s energy within the Frederick County, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County areas of Maryland.
In the course of the entirety of this conspiracy, the members of MS-13 have been anticipated to guard the title, fame, and standing of the gang from rival gang members and different individuals. To guard the gang and to boost its fame, MS-13 members have been anticipated to make use of any means essential to power respect from those that confirmed disrespect, together with acts of intimidation and violence. MS-13 had mottos in line with its guidelines, beliefs, expectations and fame together with “mata, viola, controla,” which interprets as, “kill, rape, management,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which implies, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.” One of many principal guidelines of MS-13 is that its members should assault and kill rivals, also known as “chavalas,” at any time when doable.
MS-13 is a nationwide and worldwide gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador and different central American nations. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of many largest avenue gangs in the US, function all through Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. The defendants have been members of the Fulton Locos Salvatruchas (“FLS”) and Parque Vista (“PVLS”) cliques.
MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence each to take care of membership and self-discipline throughout the gang, in addition to towards rival gang members. Participation in legal exercise by a member, notably in violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by gang management, enhance the respect accorded to that member, leading to that member sustaining or growing his place within the gang, and opens the door to promotion to a management place.
As revealed through the investigation, from 2015 by way of 2017, the Fulton clique of MS-13 sought to extend its presence in Frederick, Wheaton, and Annapolis, Maryland by way of quite a few acts of violence, extortion, and drug gross sales. Joya Parada was a member of the Fulton clique of MS-13. Trial proof associated to Joya Parada targeted on his participation in two grisly murders of people suspected of affiliation with rival gang members carried out in 2017. First, on March 31, 2017, the gang lured a 17-year outdated from Annapolis to Wheaton Regional Park, the place they stabbed him over 100 occasions, dismembered him, eliminated his coronary heart, and buried him in a clandestine grave. Particularly, Joya Parada arrived at Wheaton Regional Park with different MS-13 members to dig the grave earlier than the sufferer arrived there and took part within the homicide by stabbing, chopping, and dismembering the sufferer.
Two days later, the gang kidnapped one other particular person from Silver Spring, Maryland and introduced him to a wooded space in Frederick, the place he was killed with knives and machetes earlier than being buried in a shallow grave. Earlier than being taken to Frederick, the sufferer, who was extraordinarily intoxicated, was held in a basement laundry room in Wheaton, Maryland by members and associates of MS-13, together with by Joya Parada. Contained in the laundry room, the sufferer was compelled to take away his shirt in order that gang members may look at his tattoos to fulfill themselves that the sufferer was related to a rival gang and will due to this fact be killed.
Co-defendant Sorto Romero and others went to the laundry room the place the sufferer was being held, they usually positioned him within the backseat of a automotive during which Sorto Romero was a passenger. Within the meantime, Joya Parada and different members of MS-13 went to the woods in Frederick with weapons and a shovel to dig a grave and to attend for the sufferer’s arrival. Sorto Romero finally arrived with the sufferer, delivering the sufferer to different members of MS-13 who have been ready, together with Joya Parada. A member of MS-13 incapacitated the sufferer by hitting him within the head with a tree department. Joya Parada and others then dragged the sufferer by way of the woods to the outlet they’d dug for the sufferer’s grave. They positioned the sufferer face down on the bottom subsequent to the outlet and stabbed and slashed his physique repeatedly with a machete. Joya Parada personally participated on this homicide not solely by slashing the sufferer with the lengthy fringe of the machete blade, but additionally by plunging the purpose of the machete into the sufferer’s again quite a few occasions. The sufferer died because of the blunt power trauma, stabbing, chopping, and chopping inflicted by Joya Parada and his co-conspirators.
Primarily based on his participation on this homicide, Joya Parada earned the brand new nickname “Little Jason,” a reference to a personality from a horror film franchise who used a machete to kill his victims.
These murders have been all meant to take care of and enhance the standing of MS-13, in addition to enable particular person MS-13 members to take care of or enhance their standing throughout the gang. Greater than 30 MS-13 members and associates have been convicted on this and a associated case.
Portillo-Rodriguez, Sandoval-Rodriguez, and Sorto Romero every face a compulsory sentence of life in jail for every of the homicide in help of racketeering fees. Chief Decide Bredar has scheduled sentencing for Sorto Romero for Might 6, 2022, at 10 a.m.; for Portillo Rodriguez for Might 13, 2022, at 10 a.m.; and for Sandoval Rodriguez for Might 23, 2022, at 3:30 p.m.
This case is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Job Drive (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level legal organizations that threaten the US utilizing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency strategy that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and native regulation enforcement businesses towards legal networks.
This case is a part of Undertaking Secure Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing collectively all ranges of regulation enforcement and the communities they serve to cut back violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everybody. Undertaking Secure Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Division of Justice’s violent crime discount efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program confirmed to be efficient at lowering violent crime. Via PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work collectively to establish probably the most urgent violent crime issues locally and develop complete options to deal with them. As a part of this technique, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on probably the most violent offenders and companions with regionally primarily based prevention and reentry applications for lasting reductions in crime.
Anybody with details about MS-13 is inspired to offer their tricks to regulation enforcement. The FBI and HSI each have nationwide tiplines you could name to report what you already know. You may attain the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you’ll be able to name HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), liable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these legal organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by way of which worldwide commerce, journey, and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 workers consists of greater than 7,100 particular brokers assigned to 220 cities all through the US, and 80 abroad areas in 53 nations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’s largest investigative regulation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. regulation enforcement.