A joint effort by Baltimore Homeland Security, Maryland's Department of Corrections and sheriff and police officials from several Maryland counties resulted in a major sting operation with the arrest of four alleged gang members. The four men were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and multiple racketeering endeavors by a gang known as MS-13.
The four men are all residents of Maryland and range in age from 20 to 25. They have been accused of various federal crimes including assault, murder, extortion and intimidation and retaliation of witnesses against them.
The gang reportedly had its roots in Los Angeles dating back to the 1980's. Authorities report the gang had been initiated by immigrants from El Salvador. Activities reportedly extended to other states, including Maryland.
The four individuals were cited on charges from 2009 to the present, allegedly involving crimes in Prince George and Montgomery counties.
Several of the four men face life sentences and have scheduled court appearances in federal court in Greenbelt.
Both the HSI and ICE have expressed a desire to participate on a state and federal level to deal with street violence and gather intelligence on international crimes. Their plans include incarceration and deportation of alleged gang members by tracking the sale of weapons and money trails.
The agencies estimate they have identified thousands of gang members reportedly involved in federal crimes involving over 2,500 gangs. Topping the list was a large number of MS-13 gang leaders and their affiliates, allegedly involved in illegal sales of firearms and other federal crimes.
Anyone facing criminal charges in the Maryland area may be unaware of where to turn to for help in presenting a case in the court system. Defending yourself against a felony requires the knowledge and expertise of an experienced legal professional who can assist you in strategically planning a defense that will empower you to protect your rights and your future. If you have made a mistake or have been falsely accused, it is in your best interest to explore every option available to maintain your freedom and reduce potentially serious penalties.
Source: GSN Magazine, "4 additional alleged MS-13 members charged in violent racketeering conspiracy," June 20, 2014