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July 28, 2023Richmond, VA, United StatesOrganized Crime

HSI Washington, D.C. investigation lands MS-13 gang member 40 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit murder

RICHMOND, Va. — An investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. and FBI Richmond resulted in a New Jersey man’s 40-year prison sentence for conspiring to commit murder in connection with his participation in La Mara Salvatrucha, a violent international street gang commonly known as MS-13. Jose Gimenez-Lobos, 32, received the lengthy prison sentence at the U.S. District Court in Richmond on July 24.

“Jose Gimenez-Lobos displayed his depravity by conspiring to stab a man to death in cold blood,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “The severity of his crime is reflected in the prison sentence he received today. HSI Washington, D.C. will continue to pursue individuals or groups who perpetrate violence against the residents of our Washington, D.C. and Virginia communities.”

According to the investigation, Gimenez-Lobos, the leader of an MS-13 clique in New Jersey, attended a party with several other MS-13 gang members at a Richmond apartment on the evening of Nov. 23, 2014. The MS-13 gang members noticed that a member of the Sureño gang, a rival gang to MS-13, was also at the party.

Under MS-13 rules, members are not allowed to associate with members of rival gangs and are required to beat or kill them. After Gimenez-Lobos realized that there was a rival gang member present, he gathered the MS-13 members at the party. The group went into another room in the apartment, conferred, and decided to kill the rival gang member.

The group physically accosted the victim and took a knife and a BB gun from him. Gimenez-Lobos used the knife to stab the victim multiple times in the neck and torso, while co-defendant Darwin Solorzano-Quintanilla used the BB gun to brutally bludgeon the victim about the head several times. Co-defendant Francisco Lemus-Castillo used a knife that he already had with him to stab the victim several times in the neck and torso as well. The victim died from his wounds.

Solorzano-Quintanilla was sentenced to life in prison in November 2021. Lemus-Castillo was sentenced to life in prison on June 26.

HSI Washington, D.C. and FBI Richmond conducted this investigation with significant assistance from HSI Newark, the City of Richmond Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.