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MS-13 Leaders Indicted On Racketeering, Narcotics, Firearms Charges

Members of the MS-13 street gang were charged
Members of the MS-13 street gang were charged Photo Credit: File

More leaders of the MS-13 street gang are facing charges for racketeering and drug trafficking across the country.

An indictment that includes high-ranking members of the Governing “Table” of the gang, have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, narcotics distribution conspiracy, and weapons charges.

The indictment out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) charges Amilcar Romero, a/k/a “Soldado,” Jaime Santana, a/k/a “Smiley,” Jose Garcia, a/k/a “Tricky,” and Alexander Rivera, a/k/a “Extrano.” Cristian Guerrero-Melgares, a/k/a “Enigma,” and Gustavo Llevano-Rivera are charged in the narcotics conspiracy count. Several also face firearms charges.

“Targeting gangs and crews, and preventing the violence so often associated with their illegal activities, continues to be among the highest priorities for the NYPD and our law enforcement partners,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. “By precisely targeting the relatively small percentage of individuals responsible for committing much of the violence in New York, we are making the safest large city in America even safer.”

According to the indictment, “to enrich the enterprise, protect and expand its criminal operations, enforce discipline among its members, and retaliate against members of rival gangs, members and associates of MS-13 committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics, including methamphetamine and cocaine; and obtained, possessed and used firearms.”

Romero, 50, Santana, 39, Garcia, 31, and Rivera, 31 have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, which has a maximum term of life in prison if convicted. Those four, Guerrero-Melgares, 32, and Llevano-Rivera, 23, are also charged with one count with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.

Santana, Garcia, and Guerrero-Melgares are charged with possessing, carrying, and using firearms during, in relation to, and in furtherance of, the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. Santana and Rivera are also charged with possessing firearms while unlawfully or illegally in the United States

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said, “today, three high ranking members of MS-13 were arrested for various charges, including, racketeering, drug distribution, and firearms offenses. These three gang members allegedly utilized violence and intimidation in order to further their criminal enterprise.

“HSI New York and our other field offices around the country continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to combat MS-13. It is only through these coordinated efforts that we will be able to disrupt and ultimately dismantle this gang,”

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