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Transnational Gangs

MS-13 gang member pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy

GREENBELT, Md. - Carlos Antonio Martinez, aka Lobo, 21, of Hyattsville, Md., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct and participate in the racketeering enterprise activities of MS-13, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. ICE participated in the investigation the led to Martinez's arrest.

La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, that has members operating throughout Prince George's County and Montgomery County, Md. MS-13 is a national and international criminal organization with approximately 10,000 members.

MS-13 is organized in "cliques," including the the Langley Park Salvatruchos ("LPS"). In 2002, Martinez was "jumped-in" to the gang and received the gang name of "Lobo." Martinez was a member of the LPS clique.

On June 1, 2004, Martinez, James Guillen and other MS-13 members confronted individuals whom they believed to be rival gang members. Montgomery County Police were called to the scene and recovered a butterfly knife from Guillen's vehicle.

According to his plea agreement, prior to Oct. 25, 2004, Martinez attended a meeting of the LPS clique in Prince George's County, Md., in which clique leaders discussed their belief that Nancy Diaz was providing information to a rival gang and needed to be killed. On Oct. 25, 2004, Guillen drove two other MS-13 members, Diaz and another juvenile female in his car, and dropped them off at the George Washington National Cemetery, knowing that the MS-13 gang members planned to kill the two girls. At some point prior to the drive to the cemetery, Martinez furnished the two MS- 13 members with the clique gun.

According to the plea agreement and trial testimony, the other MS-13 members shot and killed Nancy Diaz. They shot the other girl in the face and stabbed her twice in the chest to attempt to make sure she was dead. They then left the scene. The second girl survived the attack.

On March 26, 2005, MS-13 gang members were involved in a confrontation with rival gang members outside a strip mall in Prince George's County. The gang members contacted Martinez, who arrived on the scene with another MS-13 member. Martinez admitted that he and the other MS-13 member searched for the rival gang members and, upon identifying a car containing some of the young men, the other MS-13 member took out a .38 caliber revolver, wrapped in a dark colored bandana, and fired several shots from the driver's seat of his car, killing Jose Arias, 15. A bullet also struck the clothing of another young man. The other MS-13 member and Martinez then left the scene and met up with the participants in the initial verbal confrontation, where they discussed disposing of the evidence of the crime, including the gun and the car.

By mid-August 2005, several senior members of the LPS clique had been arrested and incarcerated. According to the plea agreement, LPS members determined that Martinez was worthy of being promoted from treasurer to "second word" (a leadership position), and served in that role until his arrest on Aug. 25, 2005.

Martinez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

James Guillen, aka "Toro," 23, of Hyattsville, pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy in connection with his gang activities and was sentenced to 262 months in prison.

U. S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer praised the RAGE Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Prince George's County Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Department of Police; the Howard County Police Department; the Maryland National Capital Park Police; the Maryland State Police; and the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department for their involvement in the case.