A federal jury convicted three men of conspiring to participate in La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational criminal enterprise commonly known as MS-13, through a pattern of racketeering activities including murder, racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering and witness tampering.
According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial, Luis Flores-Reyes, aka Maloso, aka Wolf, 41, of Arlington, Virginia; Jairo Jacome, also known as Grandpa, 40, from Langley Park, Maryland; and Brian Contreras-Avalos, aka Anonymous, aka Malia, aka Humilde, 27, of Langley Park, Maryland, ran a conservation program using MS-13 in and around Langley Park and blackmailed local businesses by charging them “rent” for the privilege in Billed operating in the “territory” of MS-13.
MS-13 is organized into a number of sub-units or “cliques” that operate in specific geographic locations. Jacome was the senior member of a local clique called the Langley Park Salvatrucha, or LPS. Flores-Reyes and Contreras-Avalos were leaders within the powerful Sailors clique, which held territories in Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Texas and El Salvador.
“MS-13 terrorizes communities in the United States and abroad with fear, violence and intimidation,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This conviction demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to dismantling this violent criminal organization.”
Flores-Reyes, Jacome and Contreras-Avalos were also involved in at least six murders during the time of the conspiracy, mostly of victims they believed to be gang rivals. In June 2016, in Hyattsville, Maryland, members of MS-13, including Contreras-Avalos, stabbed to death two homeless individuals believed to be members of the 18th Street gang.
The gang also trafficked illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Much of the proceeds from the gang’s illegal activities were…