A federal grand jury indicted eight Maryland-based MS-13 gang members under federal racketeering charges.
The grand jury indicted Michael Eduardo Contreras, 22, of Silver Spring; Carlos Roberto Tejada Cruz, 20, of Beltsville; Kevin Alexis Hernandez-Guevara, 20, of Landover Hills; Rolando Aristides Juarez-Vasquez, 22, of Hyattsville; Jeffry Rodriguez 21, of Beltsville; Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, 20, of Landover; Luis Fernando Orellana-Estrada, 18, of Hyattsville and Donald Roberto Mendez-Lopez, 18, of Hyattsville.
Alvarado-Requino, Hernandez-Guevara, Juarez-Vasquez and Tejada-Cruz face a maximum sentence of life in prison, while Rodriguez, Contreras, Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Both Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez face additional 20-year sentences while Tejada-Cruz and Hernandez-Guevara face additional 10-year sentences for extortion charges.
“The work on that federal indictment was done by prosecutors in my office and then the men and women who work for (Montgomery County Police Chief) Tom Manger in the police department,” said State’s Attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy about the indictment.
According to federal prosecutors, the eight men are part of La Mara Salvatrucha, more commonly known as MS-13, who planned and committed several murders, gun and drug trafficking crimes and extortion from 2015 to 2017.
The federal grand jury indicted all eight men with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
The indictment alleges that the eight men were part of the Sailors Clique of MS-13, some of whom helped plan and commit several murders during the last two years, including a June 2016 murder in Gaithersburg planned by Alvarado-Requeno, according to the indictment.
In addition, the indictment alleges that Silver Spring resident Contreras helped arrange the travel for MS-13 gang members to commit a June 29, 2016 murder in Bedford County, Va. The indictment also alleges that the Sailors Clique extorted business owners in Wheaton and Langley Park and sent the proceeds to El Salvador.
On Oct. 3, the Montgomery County Council approved $843,000 in funding for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Montgomery County Police Department to combat the recent rise in gang violence. According to police statistics, there have been 20 gang-related homicides in the past two years.