Md. MS-13 gang member gets 60 years in prison

By: Scott McCabe
Examiner Staff Writer
05/05/09 8:16 PM

Leaders of a violent street gang in El Salvador sent Victor “Mousey” Ramirez to the Maryland suburbs to strengthen the MS-13 gang here and wipe out its rivals.

On Monday, a federal judge sent Ramirez to 60 years in prison.
Ramirez, who lived in Hyattsville, was convicted on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit three murders and an attempted murder.

During the four-week trial in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the jury heard witnesses describe the long reach of the international gang, from dark prisons in Central America to the neighborhoods around Washington.

“Victor Ramirez’s mission was to boost the level of MS-13’s criminal activities on the streets of Maryland,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer.

MS-13 was formed in Los Angeles in 1980 by immigrants from El Salvador and has about 10,000 members in the United States and Central America. Outside of California, the gang has been most active in Langley Park and Takoma Park near the D.C. border and in Northern Virginia.

Prosecutors showed video of Ramirez, taken in the overcrowded Quezaltepeque prison in northern El Salvador, flashing MS-13 gang signs and displaying a “Mara Salvatrucha” tattoo across his abdomen.

After Ramirez arrived in the United States, he represented MS-13’s Teclas Locos Salvatruchos clique in meetings in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, prosecutors said.
Ramirez was sent to make sure the TLS was following gang rules and to make it more violent. He also started a scheme, called “The Program,” to rob and extort houses of prostitution and other illegal businesses.

During an Oct. 9, 2005, meeting in Prince George’s County, a gang leader in jail in El Salvador spoke to members by cellular telephone. Afterward, Ramirez met with members from other MS-13 cliques to arrange a hit on rivals in Riverdale. Later that day, two rivals were killed and another was wounded.
Two weeks later, Ramirez handed his gun to a MS-13 gang
member and ordered the hit of a suspected rival in Langley Park.

Ramirez was captured the next month by Montgomery County police after the gang robbed a brothel in Wheaton, tied up three men and raped a prostitute at gunpoint. An unsuspecting undercover detective investigating an unrelated carjacking case was posing as a neighbor when she knocked on the door to the apartment.

Three MS-13 members at the doorway tried to grab the detective, not knowing she was a police officer. Law enforcement officers rushed inside and arrested Ramirez and four other suspects.

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