Two MS-13 Gang Members Sentenced for Murder Conspiracy

Two La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members were sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering in connection with their participation in the Weedams Locos Salvatrucha (WLS) clique of the MS-13 gang.

Endy Arturo Gaitan Campos, aka Clandestino, 30, of Hyattsville, Maryland, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison, and Jorge Isaac Argueta Chica, aka Timido and Enano, 23, of Gaithersburg, was sentenced last week to six years in prison.

According to court documents, MS-13 is an international criminal organization composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating throughout the United States.

MS-13 members are organized in “cliques,” smaller groups that operate in a specific city or region, and are required to commit acts of violence, both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against rivals.

One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.

MS-13 members earn promotions and improved standing within the gang for participating in attacks on rival gang members, often at the direction of MS-13 leadership.

 
On Aug.

8, 2020, Campos and other WLS members, including WLS leader Brayan Alexander Torres and Franklyn Edgardo Sanchez, agreed to murder Victim-4, who was suspected of cooperating with law enforcement and with whom Sanchez had a financial dispute.

Campos told another MS-13 member that he would have to help commit the murder.

Campos then drove Torres, Sanchez, and other WLS members to a wooded area nearby and dropped them off.

Sanchez was armed with a revolver, and Torres gave a second revolver to the MS-13 member Campos had told to help in the murder, instructing that person to shoot first when Victim-4 arrived.

When Victim-4 arrived, Sanchez and the other MS-13 member each fired multiple shots at Victim-4.

Sanchez then pistol-whipped and stabbed Victim-4, and Torres also stabbed Victim-4.

After Torres and other WLS members dragged Victim-4’s body to a stream and left it there, Campos drove the MS-13 members back to Torres’s house, where other gang members, including Argueta Chica and Agustino Eugenio Rivas Rodriguez, were waiting.

As he was leaving the woods, Sanchez noticed he was bleeding.

To prevent the discovery of DNA or other evidence on the body and to hinder the investigation and prosecution of Victim-4’s murder, Torres called other WLS members and ordered them to bring shovels to bury Victim-4’s body.

WLS members loaded shovels into Campos’s car, and Campos drove them, including Argueta Chica and Rivas Rodriguez, to the wooded area.

WLS members then dug a hole and buried Victim-4’s body.

Law enforcement later recovered the body with a bullet wound to the head.

Argueta Chica also participated in the collection of extortion payments, or “rents,” from at least two extortion victims on behalf of WLS, knowing that the victims making extortion payments did so under the threat of death or bodily injury by members of WLS.

 
Torres and Sanchez were each sentenced to 28 years in prison, and Rivas Rodriguez was sentenced 16 years in prison for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy.

 
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M.

Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.

S.

Attorney Erek L.

Barron for the District of Maryland, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J.

Sobocinski of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, Special Agent in Charge James C.

Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore, and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department made the announcement.

The FBI, HSI, and Prince George’s County Police Department investigated the case, with assistance from U.

S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and the Montgomery County Police Department.

 
Trial Attorney Christopher Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section and Assistant U.

S.

Attorney Joel Crespo for the District of Maryland prosecuted the case.

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