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Maryland gang member sentenced to 35 years in prison

Greenbelt, MD - U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Oscar Ernesto Delgado-Perez, a/k/a “Complicado” and “Indio,” age 26, of Gaithersburg, late last week to 35 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

“We will not tolerate the violence perpetrated by MS-13 in Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Today’s sentence sends a strong message to MS-13 gang members that federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue to work together to find and bring to justice MS-13 members who commit these heinous crimes.”

“The most foundational tenets of MS-13 rest on unadulterated evil,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant, HSI Baltimore. “Our investigators will not stand for this or any other transnational criminal organization living and operating here without detection and, ultimately, consequence.”

MS-13 is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively as “Programs,” with the purpose of increasing the gang’s levels of organization, violence, extortion, and other criminal activity, and to assist one another in avoiding detection by law enforcement.  In Maryland and the surrounding area, these cliques include Parkview Locos Salvatrucha (“PVLS”), Normandie Locos Salvatrucha (“NLS” or “Normandie”), Sailors Locos Salvatrucha Westside (“SLSW” or “Sailors”), Langley Park Salvatrucha (“LPS”), Weedoms Locos Salvatrucha (“Weedoms”), and Cabanas Locos Salvatruchas (“Cabanas”).  A person within the participating cliques is selected as the Program leader.

To protect the gang and to enhance its reputation, MS-13 members and associates are expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who show disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence.  MS-13’s creed is based on one of its mottos, “Mata, roba, viola, controla,” which translates to, “kill, steal, rape, control.”

According to his plea agreement, beginning before June 2016, Delgado-Perez was a member of the Sailors clique of MS-13.  Delgado-Perez admitted that he conspired with other MS-13 members and associates to participate in numerous acts in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy, including extortion and murder.

As detailed in his plea agreement, in 2016 in the area of Gaithersburg, Maryland, Delgado-Perez, distributed illegal drugs for the gang, including marijuana and cocaine.

According to his plea agreement, on June 15 and June 16, 2016, Delgado-Perez, along with other MS-13 members and associates, planned and conspired to murder an individual, whom they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang.  On June 16, 2016, as part of the plan to murder the victim, a female MS-13 co-conspirator lured the victim to a wooded area within the Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  While the victim was with the female co-conspirator in the park, Delgado-Perez and another co-conspirator attacked the victim, stabbing the victim multiple times with knives, with the intention of killing him.  Two other MS-13 co-conspirators also took part in the attack, and stabbed the victim, who died as a result of the attack. According to the autopsy report, the injuries to the victim included approximately 153 sharp force injuries consisting of stab wounds, puncture wounds and cutting wounds.

Co-defendants Jose Augustin Salmeron-Larios, a/k/a “Joseph Morales-Martinez,” “Angel Salvador Gutierrez,” “Yankee,” and “Kean,” age 26, of Severn, Maryland; Juan Carlos Espinal-Rapalo, a/k/a “Chiki,” age 21; Daniel Adonai Ramos-Romero, a/k/a “Romero Taylor Binga,” “Taylor Romero,” and “Binga,” age 22; and all of Gaithersburg, Maryland, have pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and other charges related to their MS-13 gang activity.  They remain detained as they await sentencing. 

Co-defendants Noe Coreas-Mejia, a/k/a “Tsunami,” age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland and Kevin Henriquez-Chavez, a/k/a “Loco” and “Crazy,” age 24, of Washington Grove, Maryland, also pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and were sentenced to 33 years and 30 years in federal prison, respectively.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA; HSI Baltimore, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur also recognized the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Departments of Corrections, HSI Baltimore’s Operation Community Shield Task Force, and the Maryland Department of Corrections Intelligence Unit for their assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau, Ray D. McKenzie, Catherine K. Dick, and Burden H. Walker who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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