BALTIMORE – An investigation headed by the Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Subject Workplace resulted in life in federal jail for a infamous gang member for his half in a racketeering conspiracy involving three ugly murders. On Could 25, Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, a/okay/a “Picaro,” “El Pastor,” and “Gasper,” age 24, of Annapolis, Maryland was sentenced to serve life in jail for a racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, tried homicide, assault with a harmful weapon, conspiracy to commit homicide in support or racketeering, in addition to associated violent crimes in support of racketeering, together with three murders, linked to his participation in La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational prison enterprise also referred to as MS-13.
After a nine-day trial, in October 2019, a federal jury convicted Sandoval-Rodriguez of homicide in support of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit homicide in support of racketeering, in reference to a homicide that occurred in March 2016. Then on January 24, after a three-month trial, a federal jury convicted Sandoval-Rodriguez of racketeering expenses, together with co-defendants Jose Joya Parada, a/okay/a “Calmado,” age 21; Oscar Armando Sorto Romero, a/okay/a “Lobo,” age 23; and Milton Portillo Rodriguez, a/okay/a “Little Gangster,” a/okay/a “Seco,” age 26. Sandoval-Rodriguez and Portillo-Rodriguez have been additionally convicted of a number of counts of homicide in support of racketeering.
The HSI Baltimore investigation established that between 2015 and 2017, Sandoval-Rodriguez and his co-defendants engaged in a sample of racketeering, drug trafficking, extortion, homicide, 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.
The investigation additional established that Sandoval-Rodriguez participated within the homicide of a suspected rival gang member in March 2016. Throughout this homicide, Sandoval Rodriguez lured the sufferer to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland, with the intention of killing him. Surveillance video from a close-by laundromat captured Sandoval-Rodriguez and the sufferer strolling towards Quiet Waters Park on the night of the homicide. As soon as the sufferer arrived on the park, members of the gang struck him within the head with a department or stick, and the assailants, together with Sandoval-Rodriguez, repeatedly stabbed the sufferer with a knife, killing him. Whereas Sandoval-Rodriguez and different members of the gang dedicated the homicide, different MS-13 members and associates stood watch exterior the park to make sure nobody entered or left the park, and to look at for police, in order that the gang might full the homicide. After the sufferer was killed, MS-13 members and associates buried him in a shallow grave contained in the park, however Sandoval-Rodriguez didn’t bury the physique due to the lower on his finger and worry that he would go away proof on the scene. The physique was not recovered till August 2017, when it was exhumed by regulation enforcement. After his arrest, Sandoval-Rodriguez’s writings concerning the homicide in addition to further MS-13 paraphernalia was recovered amongst his private belongings in jail. Sandoval-Rodriguez participated within the homicide to boost his standing within the gang and to claim the authority of MS-13 in Annapolis.
“There aren’t sufficient phrases to explain the ugly nature of those crimes,” mentioned appearing Particular Agent in Cost Selwyn Smith of HSI Baltimore. “The acts that Sandoval-Rodriguez and his accomplices dedicated are horrific and clearly warrant the severity of the sentence he obtained at present. He’ll spend the remainder of his life in a federal jail, the place he won’t be able to commit such acts once more. HSI Baltimore is proud to have labored with our federal, state, and native regulation enforcement companions to carry Sandoval-Rodriguez to justice. HSI Baltimore will proceed to work to guard the law-abiding residents of Maryland from infamous prison components like MS-13.”
The investigation was led by HSI Baltimore with cooperation from the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of Maryland, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Subject Workplace, the Justice Division’s Prison Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Baltimore Subject Division, the Frederick Metropolis Police Division, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Workplace, the Frederick County State’s Legal professional’s Workplace, the Anne Arundel County Police Division, the Anne Arundel County State’s Legal professional’s Workplace, the Prince George’s County Police Division, the Prince George’s County State’s Legal professional’s Workplace, the Montgomery County Police Division, and the Montgomery County State’s Legal professional’s Workplace.
A lot of the investigation targeted on Sandoval-Rodriguez’ participation in a number of murders, together with that of a 17-year-old sufferer, who was believed to be a rival gang member. Particularly, the investigation confirmed that in March 2017, the gang lured a 17-year-old from Annapolis to Wheaton Regional Park, the place they stabbed him greater than 100 instances, dismembered him, eliminated his coronary heart, and buried him in a clandestine grave. The investigation additional revealed that Sandoval-Rodriguez and Portillo Rodriguez lured the sufferer out and together with different MS-13 members and associates, introduced him from Annapolis to Wheaton Regional Park. Sandoval-Rodriguez, Portillo Rodriguez, and Joya Parada participated within the homicide by stabbing, chopping, and dismembering the sufferer and Joya Parada additionally helped to dig the sufferer’s grave.
The investigation additionally revealed that Sandoval-Rodriguez participated in a homicide that occurred in June 2017. In that homicide, the gang used a feminine affiliate to lure a 21-year-old lady right into a automobile after which took her to a wooded space in Crownsville, the place she was killed, her physique was dismembered, and she or he was buried in a clandestine grave. Co-defendant Portillo-Rodriguez aided within the planning of the homicide and helped lure the sufferer right into a automobile. Sandoval-Rodriguez traveled to the wooded space earlier within the day to dig a gap for the sufferer’s grave. MS-13 members induced the sufferer to lose consciousness, eliminated her clothes, and decapitated the sufferer with a machete. Sandoval-Rodriguez and Portillo-Rodriguez participated within the homicide by stabbing and slashing the sufferer’s physique with a machete, dismembering the physique, and burying the physique in a wooded space. On account of their participation within the homicide, Sandoval-Rodriguez, Portillo-Rodriguez, and different gang members have been promoted inside MS-13.
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 america, function all through Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. Sandoval Rodriguez, Portillo Rodriguez, and Joya Parada have been members of the Fulton Locos Salvatruchas (“FLS”) clique. Co-defendant Oscar Sorto Romero was a part of the Parque Vista Locos Salvatruchas (“PVLS”) clique.
Always of this conspiracy, members of MS-13 have been anticipated to guard the identify, repute, and standing of the gang from rival gang members and different individuals. To guard the gang and to reinforce its repute, 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 per its guidelines, beliefs, expectations, and repute, together with “mata, viola, controla,” which interprets as, “kill, rape, management,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which suggests, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.” One of many principal guidelines of MS-13 is that its members should assault and kill rivals, sometimes called “chavalas,” each time potential.
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 prison 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 rising his place within the gang, and opens the door to promotion to a management place.
Greater than 30 MS-13 gang members and associates have been convicted in these circumstances.
Co-defendants from Sandoval-Rodriguez’s first case, Marlon Cruz-Flores, age 25; Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, age 23; Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales; and Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka El Lunatic, aka Zomb, age 22, all of Annapolis, beforehand pleaded responsible to racketeering conspiracy and a firearms offense. Each Gomez-Jimenez and Cruz-Flores have been sentenced to 38 years in jail, Reyes-Canales was sentenced to 35 years in jail, and Martinez-Aguilar was sentenced to 24 years in jail.
On April 20, 2022, Chief Choose Bredar sentenced Joya Parada to 50 years in federal jail, for a racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and associated violent crimes in support of racketeering. Portillo Rodriguez and Sorto Romero have been every sentenced to life in federal jail, for a racketeering conspiracy and for racketeering, in addition to associated violent crimes in support of racketeering, together with a number of murders.
This case is a part of Venture 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. Venture 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. By way of PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work collectively to determine probably the most urgent violent crime issues in the neighborhood and develop complete options to handle them. As a part of this technique, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on probably the most violent offenders and companions with domestically primarily based prevention and reentry applications for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Process Drive (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level prison organizations that threaten america utilizing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency method that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and native regulation enforcement companies towards prison networks.
Anybody with details about MS-13 is inspired to offer their tricks to regulation enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Safety Investigations each have nationwide tiplines that you could name to report what . You possibly can attain HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.