md:hispanic gangs/robberys on rise

Discuss gangs in the The South in the following states; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C. & West Virgina

md:hispanic gangs/robberys on rise

Postby Qdawg » July 5th, 2006, 10:36 am

Enforcing law in 2 languages
As Latino population soars, city looks to Puerto Rico for Spanish-speaking officers

Originally published July 5, 2006

Brandishing guns and yelling in Spanish, the men barged into La Bahia restaurant on South Newkirk Street and ordered the owner, Maria Mendoza, and others to get on the floor. Her husband, Jose, an immigrant from Honduras, fought back against a man holding a shotgun, grabbing him in a bear hug.

Another man put a gun to Jose Mendoza's head and pulled the trigger. The half-dozen or so robbers disappeared into the night, leaving the man's crumpled body bleeding on the restaurant floor and in the arms of his wife of 13 years.

The killing exemplified a growing problem as Baltimore's Latino community swells, with an increasing number of perpetrators, victims and witnesses to crimes who speak Spanish and little else. And the city's criminal justice system has been struggling to cope.

When an investigator was assigned to the Mendoza killing, there was only one choice -- Juan A. Diaz, a native of Puerto Rico and the only Spanish-speaking homicide detective on the 3,000-member police force.

Two years ago, he was working in drug enforcement, only to be promoted to detective to help investigate the killings of three immigrant children from Mexico.

Now he was called upon again to help track down witnesses and try to persuade them to talk in a community where many are reluctant to deal with the police, sometimes because they are in the country illegally.

"Some are cooperative, some are a little scared," Diaz said of people he encountered in the restaurant killing, which is unsolved. "Because you're talking in their language, they feel more comfortable talking to the police."

Outreach workers estimate that half of the robberies in the immigrant community are not reported because Latinos are afraid to call police. New immigrants are swindled, manipulated and robbed of the cash that they are known to keep in their pockets instead of in banks. Some are victims of more brutal crimes.

Baltimore and its police, said Jeanne Velez, director of Assisi House of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Fells Point, have to adjust to the changing demographics. "You have to think black, white, Latino," she said. "Up to now, it's just been black and white."

The police have decided that they need reinforcements.

Last month, city police embarked on a experiment to recruit officers directly from Puerto Rico. The goal is to increase the number of Spanish-speaking officers and fill the department's depleted ranks at a time when better-paying jobs and military service are luring potential hires elsewhere.

Six recruiters flew to Puerto Rico in hopes of luring bilingual applicants from an island that has its own troubles with violent crime, corruption and hard economic times. A group of applicants is to arrive in Baltimore this week for more testing Friday.

Those who are hired will join a force that has about 100 officers who speak Spanish. It used to be enough. A few years ago, the department prided itself on having one or two Spanish-speaking officers in the Southeast District.

Now, police struggle to make sure they have one or more on every shift. Some bilingual officers say they can spend several hours a week away from their beats serving as translators for colleagues.

For Baltimore's Police Department, the push for more Spanish-speaking officers is an acknowledgement of the new urban landscape. Police and residents hope that an influx of Spanish-speaking officers who can navigate the cultural nuances of the city's Latino community would be better able to help Baltimore's new and vulnerable immigrants.

The city's Latinos, who got their foothold in Fells Point decades ago, have turned parts of Southeast Baltimore into enclaves for immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and other Central and South American countries.

The population has expanded rapidly in recent years into neighborhoods around Patterson Park, Highlandtown and Greektown. More Latinos also are moving into parts of Northwest Baltimore.

Official government estimates put the city's Latino population at about 12,000, but undocumented immigrants could account for tens of thousands more, community observers say.

Commanders in the Southeastern Police District have taken Spanish classes, and officers are again using a once-closed substation in Fells Point, in the heart of the Latino community.

Police in the Southeastern District are also holding monthly meetings at which Latino residents and others question police and receive safety tips and warnings of crime trends.

"They come up here, and they believe that police are as corrupt and dishonest as they are in their home countries," said Maj. Michael T. Kundrat, commander of the Southeastern District. "That's something that we've been trying to work on with them."

People who live and run businesses in the community have concerns.

Eliot Morales, 24, an Ecuadorean who teaches computer skills, worries about young children sporting bandanas and pretending to be members of such gangs as MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, a violent gang composed mostly of immigrants from El Salvador.

Nicolas Ramos, the owner of Arcos restaurant on South Broadway and head of the Hispanic Business Association, said more Spanish-speaking officers are needed to protect immigrants from crime. Many are afraid to use banks, and Ramos staggers the paydays of his workers so that criminals won't know when they are carrying cash.

Robberies, he said, "happen every week."

Maria Mendoza watched as her 42-year-old husband was killed on Jan. 15, a Sunday evening, in her Southeast Baltimore restaurant. Since then, she has lived in fear after closing the restaurant and taking up a housecleaning job at a local hospital.

Mendoza, 57, spoke to a reporter in Spanish, through a translator. She wants to leave Baltimore, she said, but she has no idea what she will do next.
We don't want his death to be forgotten," Mendoza said. "He was not a dog. Why did they kill him that way?"

City officials are trying to help the community.
Last edited by Qdawg on July 23rd, 2006, 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Qdawg » July 5th, 2006, 11:06 am

Teenager found fatally shot on path in Middle River
Originally published July 5, 2006

A 17-year-old Baltimore County youth was found dead of a gunshot wound yesterday morning on a walking path in Middle River, police said.

Police said Luis Jabree Santiago of the 1000 block of Bayner Road was shot between Monday night and yesterday morning near the first block of Chelmsford Court.

Santiago was discovered by a passer-by walking along a footpath between Maple Crest Apartments and Chelmsford Court. Police were called about 7:30 a.m. for a reported cardiac arrest and arrived to find the young man with a gunshot wound to his upper body.

Homicide investigators said in a statement that they suspect the shooting was gang-related.
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Postby Qdawg » July 23rd, 2006, 7:45 pm

Three stabbed in Prince George's apartment
Published July 23


LANGLEY PARK, Md. - Prince George's County police are trying to determine if a triple stabbing last night in Langley Park is gang-related.

Authorities say three Hispanic men were seriously wounded after being attacked about 7 p-m in an apartment on Kanawha Street.

A police spokeswoman says a party was apparently being held at the apartment, and that the men were stabbed after an altercation.

Last night's stabbings occurred near the sites of several other violent attacks on immigrants or involving Hispanic gang activity.

About a month ago, three men were shot and killed in Adelphi. Yesterday's attack also was about a half-mile away from a shopping center where two Hispanic men were killed last summer as they slept.
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Postby Qdawg » July 25th, 2006, 6:39 pm

Three Hour Standoff Ends with Arrest

(Salisbury, Maryland) -- A Salisbury man is in jail following a three-hour stand off with police. Officers were called to 108 Newport Circle just before 5:30 p.m. last night, after a man told police another man was threatening him with a shotgun. When they arrived, police saw the suspect chasing the victim through the yard with the gun. Official say the man then barricaded himself in his house for more than three hours before surrendering. He was identified as 24-year-old Orlando Garcia and police say there were no injuries.
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Postby Qdawg » August 2nd, 2006, 11:01 am

Retrial of 2 in killings of 3 children near end
Prosecutors give closing arguments against illegal Mexican immigrants

Originally published August 2, 2006

Prosecutors gave closing arguments today in the retrial of two illegal Mexican immigrants accused of slashing the throats of their three young relatives.

Prosecutor Tony Garcia focused on the whereabouts of suspects Policarpio Espinoza, 24, and Adan Canela, 19, on the day of the murders.

The two men are accused of killing 9-year-old Ricardo Espinoza, his sister, 8-year-old Lucero Espinoza, and their 10-year-old male cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada.

Garcia also concentrated on cell phone calls that put the men near the children's apartment at about 4:20 p.m. May 27, 2004, the time of the murders. He also described how the boys were strangled and the girl was hit in the head with a baseball bat before their necks were cut within inches of decapitation.

Prosecutors have contended family members know more about the murders than they have told police.

Garcia noted that when the parents of the children arrived at the apartment after the murders, no one had a key to get inside.

"Just think about that," Garcia told the jury.

The two men on trial are closely related to the children. Policarpio Espinoza is the children's uncle, and Canela is a cousin.

The first trial last year included five weeks of court testimony. Jury deliberations lasted about 10 days before the trial ended with a hung jury.

Canela and Policarpio Espinoza have been in jail since the May 2004 murders. They are charged with three counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy and face life imprisonment if convicted. The retrial began in June.

The family is from Tenenexpan, a small town in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The children were born in Mexico and came to the United States with their parents.
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Postby Qdawg » August 3rd, 2006, 4:21 pm

Md. officials focusing on gangs as prison violence rises

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- State corrections officials say they've begun a new study of prison gangs, including the growing numbers of Spanish-speaking gang members, amid mounting violence against prison workers.

The news follows Governor Robert Ehrlich's statement yesterday linking gangs to the July 25th fatal stabbing of Correctional Officer David McGuinn at the maximum-security Maryland House of Correction in Jessup.

Inmates Lamarr Harris and Lee Stephens have been charged with first degree murder. McGuinn's funeral was held today in his hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services says it began addressing gang issues at a July 20th meeting in Baltimore involving officials from the divisions of correction, parole and probation, internal investigations and information technology, and managers of several correctional institutions.

Governor Robert Ehrlich told the Cumberland Times-News yesterday that the developing theory of that crime involves increasingly violent gangs with no qualms about attacking correctional officers.

Poe says the department is focusing on the increasing number of inmates affiliated with Spanish-speaking gangs such as MS-13. She says agency officials are considering holding a conference later this year that would include gang experts from across the country.
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Postby Qdawg » August 3rd, 2006, 4:22 pm

Second MS-13 member pleads guilty in federal racketeering case
August 03, 2006

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) -- A Beltsville man has pleaded guilty to a gun charge in federal court, one of 19 members of the street gang M-S-13 indicted last year under federal racketeering charges.

Twenty-four-year-old Jose Pena Aguilar pleaded guilty today to the use of a firearm as part of a racketeering enterprise in U-S District Court in Greenbelt

Prosecutors will recommend he be sentenced to ten years in prison at a hearing next month. Aguilar is already serving a 20-year sentence in Maryland state prison for attempted murder.

He is the second MS-13 member to plead guilty in the broad racketeering indictment last August as federal prosecutors employed a law normally used for organized crime.
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Postby Qdawg » September 16th, 2006, 11:11 pm

Two Arrested, Two More Sought In January Murder

(WJZ) Baltimore, MD Baltimore County Police have charged four suspects wanted in the murder of two men found stabbed to death in January 2006 in a sports field behind Arbutus Middle School.

Herrim Geovanny Alverez Salmaron, 26, of Honduras, and Hever Joel Gonzalez Garcia, 27, of Guatemala, were both found stabbed multiple times on January 8, 2006. Salmaron and Garcia both lived together in the 2600-block of Virginia Avenue.

Investigators determined that this was a gang related murder.

Several law enforcement agencies along the East Coast, including the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Baltimore Office, and the Prince George’s County Police Regional Area Gang Enforcement, assisted in the investigation and identification of the suspects. Two suspects, William E. Ayala Salmeron, 20, and Jose Hernandez-Aguilar, 24, are in custody and being detained out-of-state on unrelated charges.

WJZ'S Dennis Edwards spoke to Baltimore County Police. "Through their witness information they were able to obtain through these photographs from the video at this bar called Mate in Baltimore City, they were able to come up with the identification of these people." said CPL. Mike Smith.

Two other suspects are still being sought and may be out of the state. They are identified as:
·Victor Alfonso Argueta, 21, Hispanic male, 5’5” tall, 160 pounds, with black hair, no known address.
·Carlos Flores Garcia, 19, Hispanic male, with black hair, no known address.

Detectives learned that the two victims were at a bar called “Mate” in Baltimore City in the early morning of January 8, 2006. After they left the bar, outside video cameras captured the suspects meeting with the victims, and then all of them walking away. The suspects have been identified as MS-13 gang members. The suspects believed that the victims were rival gang members, however, the investigation has revealed no information of them being members of any gang.

Anyone with information about these two suspects who are still being sought is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587). Those calling Metro Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
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Postby Qdawg » November 12th, 2006, 11:19 pm

MS-13 Member Given Life For 2005 Slaying

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- A member of the Hispanic street gang MS-13 was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for a 2005 murder in Rockville.

Luis Miranda, 20, of Wheaton, was given the maximum sentence by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge.

Miranda pleaded guilty in July to first-degree murder and a gun charge for the Nov. 6, 2005, murder of Edison Moran.

Moran was found shot in the head in his car at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Twinbrook Parkway after he had an argument with Miranda and other MS-13 members at a restaurant, officials said.

Miranda also pleaded guilty to a count of reckless endangerment for shooting another man the day before while Miranda was playing with a revolver.
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Postby Qdawg » November 15th, 2006, 2:42 am

Federal jury finds pair guilty of gang ties
Originally published November 15, 2006

A federal jury convicted two gang members, including a Baltimore man, of participating in a violent street organization responsible for more than six murders and multiple assaults in Southern Maryland.

Jurors had been deliberating on and off since Nov. 3 to decide the fates of Edgar Alberto Ayala, 29, of Suitland and Oscar Ramos Velasquez, 21, of Baltimore. Late yesterday afternoon, jurors announced a verdict, finding both men guilty of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law and conspiracy to commit assaults with a deadly weapon to keep their footholds in a gang known as MS-13.

In addition, Ayala was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and Velasquez was convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

"These convictions are an important step in a coordinated effort by federal, state and local authorities to combat violent gangs in Maryland. The RICO statute is a powerful tool that allows us to prosecute gang members in federal court for the activities of the criminal organization they chose to join," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement last night.

According to testimony at the six-week trial, the defendants operated as MS-13 members - short for the largely Hispanic criminal gang of La Mara Salvatrucha - in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

Trial testimony showed that Velasquez and other MS-13 gang members also carried deadly weapons while they sexually assaulted two juvenile females in May 2003. Prosecutors presented evidence that they also assaulted rival gang members outside a nightclub in Langley Park in 2004.

U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow set sentencing for Feb. 23. Both men face up to life in prison on the most serious charge.
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Postby Qdawg » December 30th, 2006, 12:05 pm

Man is arrested in mall carjacking
By Melissa Harris
sun reporter
Originally published December 30, 2006

It's the kind of botched crime that ends up as irresistible material for late-night talk-show hosts.

A man carjacks a woman at knifepoint at The Mall in Columbia in the middle of the post-Christmas shopping frenzy. He goes directly to a Sam's Mart and a liquor store at the Oakland Mills Village Center, and purchases items with the victim's credit card.

After tracing the purchases the next morning, Howard County Sgts. Paul Fiscella and Steve Lampe go to the stores to review surveillance tapes of the suspect's purchases. As the officers drive out of the village center parking lot in separate cars at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Fiscella spots the suspect walking across the parking lot.

"Paul has his hand up in his car window waving at me to get my attention," Lampe said. "We turned around and confronted the guy together. And when we got up to him, it certainly was the same person in the video."

Rudy Alfredo Carpio-Vasquez, 31, of the 5900 block of Setter Drive in Elkridge was charged late Thursday with carjacking, robbery and false imprisonment, among other crimes.

Police allege that Carpio-Vasquez approached a 21-year-old woman in her parked 2006 Honda Accord about 7 p.m. near the entrance to the food court on the south side of the facility.

At knifepoint, police said, he ordered the woman out of the vehicle, but when she opened the door, he pushed her into the passenger seat. As the suspect backed out of the parking spot, the woman jumped out of the Accord and ran for help.

Lampe said investigators believe that Carpio-Vasquez walked directly from the mall to the Oakland Mills shopping center.

At the time of his arrest, Carpio-Vasquez had a steak knife concealed in his shoe, a debit card bearing the victim's name and a receipt for the liquor store purchase, according to court records.
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Postby Qdawg » January 16th, 2007, 7:51 pm

MS-13 gang member pleads guilty to conspiracy
Hyattsville man faces charges related to attacks on rival gang members
By a Sun Reporter
Originally published January 16, 2007

A member of the MS-13 gang pleaded guilty in federal court in Maryland today for charges stemming from attacks on rival gang members, prosecutors said.

Walter Noel Barahona, also known as "Lil Loco," 23, of Hyattsville pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct and participate in racketeering enterprise activities of an MS-13 gang. Barahona was one of 22 alleged MS-13 gang members indicted in 2005 on charges related to illegal gang activities, prosecutors said.

According to a statement at his guilty plea, Barahona admitting to being a dues-paying member of MS-13, a gang made up of immigrants and descendants of immigrants from El Salvador that has a national membership of 10,000 people.

He admitted to participating in attacks and stabbings of rival gang members, prosecutors said, and during a search of his home, police recovered MS-13 paraphernalia, prosecutors said.

Barahona faces a maximum of life in prison. Sentencing has been set for April 16.

Barahona is the eighth of the 22 alleged gang members to plead guilty. Two others have been convicted of gang-related charges, and six more will go on trial in March. No trial date has been set for the remaining defendants, prosecutors said.
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Postby Qdawg » January 25th, 2007, 2:36 pm

Fear grips day-laborers
A day after federal raid on a lot in city, fewer gather for work
By Kelly Brewington
sun reporter
Originally published January 25, 2007

As certain as the morning chill, the men in work boots, jeans and wool caps flock to the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at Broadway and Lombard Street at the first sign of daylight, eager for work.

But a day after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers descended on the parking lot in unmarked sport utility vehicles and arrested 24 men suspected of being illegal immigrants, everything was different.

The typical throng of nearly 100 mostly Latino immigrants who gather near the parking lot was reduced to about 40. And the contractors who once boldly pulled up their empty pickups and vans to solicit workers arrived in a modest trickle.

"Everyone is scared," said one of the would-be laborers, a man with a graying beard and a wool hat embroidered with the letters "USA." He said he is originally from El Salvador, but he refused to give his name, fearing immigration officials would track him down. "I'm here because I have no choice. I have to work. I have to take care of my family."

Contractors communicated with workers subtly - at times, solely through eye contact. At one point, a pickup entered the parking lot, stayed for a short time, then left only to stop around the corner, away from the busy intersection, to collect a few workers.

The fear extended well beyond the corner yesterday, as Latino community advocates - who denounced the Tuesday arrests - said they noticed fewer people asking for their services and an unusual silence along the Broadway corridor, known as the heart of the area's burgeoning Hispanic community.

While rumors of immigration raids abound in the immigrant community, the mass arrests were unprecedented in Baltimore, advocates said.

Lourdes Montes-Greenan, Latino services manager at East Harbor Community Development Corp., said rumors alone can paralyze the community with fear. She said she remembers a family who hired a van to transport their children to school, rather than walk the streets, after hearing rumors of raids.

"When things like this happen, the rumors just increase," she said. "You are going to hear more stories, and people are going to be more paranoid."

Montes-Greenan offers free tax-preparation services in Spanish, and her organization has made a huge push to reach out to immigrants - legal and illegal - urging them to file income taxes. She fears the arrests will keep well-intentioned taxpayers at home. Earlier this week, the office was packed; yesterday, she had two clients.

"There is this misconception that undocumented immigrants don't pay taxes, that they come here to steal our jobs," she said. "But these people are really concerned, and they think about how to be responsible and compliant with the system as much as they can."

Jeanne Velez, director of Assisi House at St. Patrick's Church, which works in Baltimore's Hispanic community, has helped the Baltimore Police Department build trust with the area's immigrant Latinos, encouraging the community's help in solving crimes. She fears that the hesitation of some immigrants to report crimes will only increase in the wake of the arrests.

"It's like all the work we have been doing to try to build bridges with the local authorities and immigrants never happened," she said.

Advocates and Mayor Sheila Dixon have said the arrests draw attention to the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform. Last year, the city approved $75,000 to help fund an indoor labor center, where workers can receive training and be connected to employers. Immigrant supporters at CASA of Maryland, the state's largest Latino advocacy group, are in the process of finding a location.

CASA employees spent yesterday tracking down family members of the men who were arrested and linking them with attorneys. Eliza Leighton, an attorney with CASA, said the group is considering its legal options after the arrests, which it insists were an example of ethnic profiling.

Advocates said that when officers arrived at the convenience store parking lot, they asked for documents only from men who "looked Hispanic." In addition to men on the parking lot, the agents asked for documents from passers-by on a nearby sidewalk, said Leighton.

Steve Johnson, 41, said he was also at the corner Tuesday but was not asked for documents.

"Seemed like they came out here with the sole purpose of arresting Mexicans," said Johnson. "You got white guys and black guys here, but they didn't say anything to us."

Authorities maintain that the men were not targeted and the arrests were not planned. Instead, officers were searching for one illegal immigrant who had been ordered out of the country by a judge but failed to comply, said Marc Raimondi, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman. When agents pulled into the convenience store parking lot, about two dozen men approached, asking in Spanish if those in the car had work for them, he said.

Of the 24 men arrested, Raimondi said, six had criminal records, eight had been previously removed, and one had been caught six times crossing the border. All of the men are in removal proceedings. On Tuesday night, they were transferred to a jail. Today, they are expected to be transferred to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Texas, he said.

At Broadway and Lombard yesterday, laborers scoffed when they heard the rationale for the arrests.

"Yeah, right," said Cristobal Gomez, 27, bundled in a thick jacket and a Baltimore Ravens hat. "I don't believe that."

Gomez, originally from Honduras and trained as a carpenter, said he has been searching for work at the corner off and on for a few months.

"I am a little bit scared, but not so much," he said. "I need to work."

Some men said they suspected that the 7-Eleven manager called immigration officials to report the men.

The manager, Pan Dulyaka, said she did not, and she expressed concern for the workers.

"I worry," she said, staring into the parking lot.

"I have no problem with the guys," she said. "I feel bad for them. They work hard. They don't bother people. They just work for their families."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/ ... -headlines
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Postby maryland000 » January 27th, 2007, 5:25 am

bangin is heavy right now in maryland jails , they runnin the state troopers threw the inmates cells looking for anything gang related ,then they take a picture of you and put wat gang your in dis book, and they track u an shit like u a sex offender
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Postby Qdawg » June 6th, 2007, 1:31 am

Charges point to spread of gang
Members of MS-13 linked to multiple killings, other crimes around Md. since 2001
By Matthew Dolan
Sun Reporter
Originally published June 6, 2007

The beating death of a teenager found in Howard County and the armed holdup of a Reisterstown grocer were carried out by members of MS-13, a violent street gang whose leaders gave orders from inside a prison in El Salvador, according to a federal racketeering indictment unveiled yesterday.

Officially known as Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13 has long had a prominent and violent foothold in the Washington suburbs. The 30-count indictment makes it clear that the gang's activity has spread throughout the Baltimore region, and law enforcement experts say it has expanded to far-flung corners of the state.

The indictment charges that Rigoberto Del Transito Mejia Regaldo, nicknamed "Loco Rigo" - a gang member now in El Salvador - participated in the 2005 killing of Anber Juarez-Sanchez, an 18-year-old from Silver Spring whose skeletal remains were found in Jessup in January last year.

It also accuses Regaldo, 28, in the May 2006 attempted robbery and stabbing of the Baltimore County grocer.

U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said at a Washington news conference yesterday that the new charges significantly expand a sweeping, two-year-old federal prosecution of the gang in Maryland.

Officials said the case links more than two dozen MS-13 gang members to eight killings and a raft of other crimes in Maryland dating to 2001.

In a separate case, Baltimore County prosecutors filed notice last month of their intent to seek a death sentence for suspected MS-13 gang member Jose Hernandez-Aguilar, 25, who is charged in the January 2006 stabbing deaths of two men whose bodies were found near an Arbutus school.

Baltimore County police declined to provide any information about the allegations against Regaldo that are outlined in the indictment, which contained scant details.

"He was being investigated for attempted murder in Baltimore County and is now a part of an ongoing federal investigation, so we can't comment," said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman.

Howard County officials said they had suspected that Juarez- Sanchez's death might be a part of "something bigger" and contacted federal authorities.

"For several years now, we have acknowledged at least the presence of people associated with several violent gangs, including MS-13, in Howard County," said William J. McMahon, the county police chief.

"It makes us want to redouble our efforts in tracking people who may be involved in gang activity, but I certainly don't think by any stretch of the imagination that we are overrun with a gang issue."

Besides Regaldo, two other suspected gang members were charged in the indictment. Dany Fredy Ramos Mejia, nicknamed "Sisco," and Saul Antonios Turcio Angel, nicknamed "Trece," are charged with involvement in murders, robberies and witness intimidation for at least seven years in Maryland.

In the fall of 2004, the indictment says, Mejia and Angel produced a videotape instructing fellow MS-13 gang members in El Salvador. On the tape, they also shared information with Maryland gang members, court documents say.

A year later, according to the indictment, Angel talked with members of the Teclas Locos Salvatruchos clique in Maryland on a cell phone inside a Salvadoran prison about some of the violent crimes carried out in Maryland.

All three defendants charged this week are in prison in El Salvador, charged with crimes committed in that country. If convicted in the United States, they could get life in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

In Maryland, state prison officials said they had seen "an MS-13 presence among those arrested in Baltimore City, but not a large presence compared to several other gangs," Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

At a conference in Columbia last summer, the state's leading investigators of organized crime concluded that the Bloods - and not MS-13 - remained the state's biggest gang problem.

A recent estimate by Baltimore police put the number of known or suspected gang members at 2,600, including 400 Bloods, 100 Crips and a few dozen members of MS-13.

To promote sharing information about imprisoned gang members, Kristen Mahoney, director of the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, said yesterday that her office will soon award $500,000 in grants to local jails to keep track of gang members and distribute the intelligence to other corrections officials statewide.

Sgt. Andrew Eways of the Maryland State Police's Gang Enforcement Unit said MS-13 has expanded gradually statewide over the past decade.

"MS-13 isn't one large gang," Eways said. "It's a lot of smaller regionalized or localized group that share a common name."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/ ... -headlines
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