On February 23, federal prosecutors unveiled charges against 13 different individuals who have been accused of being leaders of the notorious gang MS-13. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, these individuals have all directed criminal activities, including some instances of murder, in not only the U.S. but also in Mexico, El Salvador, and other countries. This string of criminal activity has been ongoing for at least the past 20 years based on investigations.
Currently, the 13 individuals are facing multiple charges including conspiracy to provide or conceal material support to terrorists, narco-terrorism conspiracy, and racketeering conspiracy.
Four of the reported gang leaders also are being charged with a conspiracy to smuggle aliens resulting in a death. With these specific charges, the four individuals could receive the death penalty if convicted. These four individuals were all taken into custody at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
Authorities are still seeking four other individuals, but the rest of the suspects are all in custody in El Salvador. They are awaiting extradition.
Prosecutors say every one of these individuals held leadership roles within the gang, and they’ve all directed violence against other individuals. In El Salvador, it’s suspected that the individuals operated a military-style training camp to train other members of the gang. The camp reportedly had firearms, explosives, and other concerning weapons. All of this was also used to threaten and intimidate civilian populations in the area.
Criminal Gang Activities
Clearly, violence and gang-related activities will be prosecuted by the U.S. government even if they have to extradite you from a different country. What’s more, you can be sure that any criminal sentence you receive if convicted will be much more severe if you’re a suspected gang member than if you aren’t suspected of being a part of a gang.
As explained above, some gang-related activity could lead you to commit murder or even direct someone else to commit murder. In these situations, you could potentially face the death penalty if you get convicted. Even if you are able to avoid the death penalty, you’ll still likely spend an entire lifetime behind bars.
If you’ve been accused of committing a crime and you’re also being accused of being a gang member, then it’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you’re in New York or a surrounding area, then we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team to discuss your situation in more detail with our experts.