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MS-13's Highest-Ranking Leaders Charged On Long Island With Terrorism

MS-13 gang leaders are facing charges on Long Island.
MS-13 gang leaders are facing charges on Long Island. Photo Credit: Facebook

Some of the highest-ranking leaders of the MS-13 street gang were charged in federal court on Long Island with terrorism.

An indictment was unsealed in Central Islip federal court on Thursday, Jan. 14 charging 14 MS-13 leaders - known as the Ranfla Nacional - who operated the organization’s Board of Directors and directed international violence for two decades.

Specifically, federal prosecutors said that the indictment charges the gang leaders with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism, and narco-terrorism conspiracy in connection with their leadership of the transnational criminal organization over the past two decades from El Salvador, the United States, Mexico and elsewhere.

MS-13 gang leaders charged in the indictment:

  • Borromeo Enrique Henriquez, also known as “Diablito de Hollywood), 42;
  • Elmer Canales-Rivera, also known as “Crook de Hollywood), 44;
  • Efrain Cortez, also known as “Tigre de Park View,” and “Viejo Tigre de Park View,” 51;
  • Ricardo Alberto Diaz, also known as “Rata de Leewards,” and “Mousey de Leewards,” 47;
  • Eduardo Erazo-Nolasco, also known as “Colocho de Western,” and “Mustage de Western,” 48;
  • Edson Sachary Eufemia, also known as “Speedy de Park View,” 46;
  • Jose Fernandez Flores-Cubas, also known as “Cola de Western,” 46;
  • Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada, also known as “Lucky de Park View,” and “Lacky de Park View,” 45;
  • Leonel Alexander Leonardo, also known as “El Necio de San Cocos,” 40;
  • Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios, also known as “El Grenas de Stoners,” and “Oso de Stoners,” 42;
  • Jose Luis Mendoza-Figueroa, also known as “Pavas de 7-11,” and Viejo Pavas de 7-11,” 56;
  • Hugo Armando Quinteros-Mineros, also known as “Flaco de Francis,” 48;
  • Saul Antonio Turcios, also known as “Treces de Teclas,” 42;
  • Aristides Dionisio Umanzo, also known as “Sir de Teclas,” 42.

“The indictment announced today is the highest-reaching and most sweeping indictment targeting MS-13 and its command and control structure in U.S. history,” acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said. “When Attorney General Barr announced the creation of JTFV in August 2019, he envisioned a whole-of-government approach that would combine proven prosecution tools from the past with innovative strategies designed specifically to eliminate MS-13 leadership’s ability to operate the gang and direct its terrorist activity. This indictment reflects an important step toward achieving that goal. 

“We have charged MS-13’s highest-ranking leaders with operating a transnational criminal organization that utilizes terror to impose their will on neighborhoods, businesses, and innocent civilians across the United States and Central America.”

It is alleged that for two decades, the Ranfla Nacional established a highly-organized, hierarchical command and control structure as a means to make their decisions and enforce their orders, even while incarcerated for other crimes.

The orders included multiple murders both in El Salvador and the United States, and the group established military-style training camps for its members and obtained military weapons such as rifles, handguns, grenades, improvised explosive devices (IED), and rocket launchers.

Prosecutors said that other crimes Ranfla Nacional engaged in included drug trafficking, public relations on behalf of MS-13, and extortion to raise money for the drug organization.

“Under the defendants’ command, MS-13 has committed numerous acts of violence—including murders, attempted murders, assaults, kidnappings, drug trafficking, extortion of individuals and businesses, obstructed justice and sent dues and the proceeds of criminal activity by wire transfer to MS-13 leaders in El Salvador, “the indictment states.

In El Salvador, Ranfla Nacional is also accused of committing acts of violence and intimidation over government officials, including ordering the killing of law enforcement and government officials there, as well as ordering a “green light,” or killing, of an FBI Special Agent detailed to El Salvador who was tasked with investigating MS-13 and its members.

As part of a deal with the former El Salvador government, the Ranfla Nacional also allegedly directed MS-13 to reduce homicides in El Salvador in exchange for improved prison conditions, benefits, and cash payments.

“In 2015, when this agreement collapsed, the Ranfla Nacional blamed the United States, believing that the U.S. government pressured the government of El Salvador to end the ‘truce’ as a condition of receiving funds from the United States,” officials said.

“Thereafter, in early 2016, the Ranfla Nacional began planning for a major campaign of coordinated violence in El Salvador in retaliation for the harsher measures imposed on its members after the end of the ‘truce.’”

“As one of the most violent and dangerous criminal enterprises, MS-13 and La Ranfla Nacional were directly responsible for unthinkable violence and criminal activity in communities across the United States and throughout Central America,” HSI Executive Associate Director Derek Benner said.

According to prosecutors, Henriquez is widely recognized as the most powerful member of the Ranfla Nacional was taken into custody in El Salvador with 10 others. Jandres-Parada, Lopez-Larios, and Quinteros-Mineros remain at large and “should be considered armed and dangerous.”

A $20,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to their arrest and conviction by the FBI and Homeland Security. Officials said they are working with El Salvador to explore extradition options.

“MS-13 is responsible for a wave of death and violence that has terrorized communities, leaving neighborhoods on Long Island and throughout the Eastern District of New York awash in bloodshed,” acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement. “Even when incarcerated, the Ranfla Nacional continued to direct MS-13’s global operations, recruit new members, including children, into MS-13, and orchestrate murder and mayhem around the world. 

“Today’s ground-breaking indictment seeks to demolish MS-13 by targeting its command and control structure and holding MS-13’s Board of Directors accountable for their terroristic actions.”

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