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MS-13 Leader In Marland Sentenced To 15 Years After Pleading Guilty To Racketeering Conspiracy

August 20, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
MS-13 Leader In Marland Sentenced To 15 Years After Pleading Guilty To Racketeering Conspiracy

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A federal district court judge handed a Maryland gang leader a 15-year prison sentence last week after pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland.

Wilmer Argueta, aka Chengo, 23, of Hyattsville, Maryland, who is a reputed member of MS-13 gang, pleaded guilty on April 20, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus of the District of Maryland to one count of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy.

According to the stipulated facts agreed to in connection with the guilty plea, Argueta admitted to being a member of the international criminal organization, MS-13 street gang, One of the largest street gangs in the United States with branches or “cliques” operating throughout Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.

As a way to maintain membership in the gang and to enforce internal discipline, members are required to engage in acts of intimidation and violence against members of rival gangs.

In connection with his plea, Argueta admitted that from 2009 until at least 2012, he was a member and leader of the Peajes Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13, and that he and members of the Peajes and other MS-13 cliques committed crimes to further the interests of the gang, including murder, assault, robbery, extortion by threat of violence, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and witness retaliation.

Argueta admitted that on Jan. 3, 2010, he and other MS-13 members attempted to kidnap and assault two individuals with various weapons because Argueta and his co-conspirators believed one of the individuals was associating with a rival gang.

After the individuals fled in different directions, several MS-13 members caught one of the victims and sexually assaulted her as retribution for associating with a rival gang.

In addition, according to the plea agreement, on Jan. 13, 2011, Argueta attended a Peajes clique meeting during which another MS-13 member criticized members of the clique for not committing enough violent crimes and encouraging clique members to target rival gang members with acts of violence.

After the meeting, Argueta and other MS-13 members strangled and stabbed an individual whom the clique members believed to be a member of a rival gang. Although the MS-13 members left the victim for dead, he survived.

Argueta also admitted to the following crimes:

  • The Peajes clique lead by Argueta extorted a former MS-13 associate under the threat of a “greenlight” (an order to kill) in 2011. He ordered MS-13 associates to relay the death threats to the victim, and he contacted the victim himself on multiple occasions to arrange extortion payments.
  • Argueta and other MS-13 members asssaulted a witness who had agreed to testify against Argueta in state court. Specifically, Argueta admitted that, while incarcerated in the Prince George’s County Corrections Facility, he ordered the “greenlight” by contacting a co-conspirator who then relayed the instruction to other MS-13 members.
  • On Nov. 15, 2011, three MS-13 members drove to the victim/witness’ home, and one of the co-conspirators shot at the victim from a moving vehicle, striking the victim in the chest. But The victim survived.

To date, five of the 14 defendants charged in this case have pleaded guilty to participating in the racketeering conspiracy.

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