JammedUp News


Founder of MS-13 in Massachusetts sentenced to three years in prison

July 14, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Founder of MS-13 in Massachusetts sentenced to three years in prison

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A federal judge has handed the man responsible for importing one of the most notorious street gangs in Central America to Massachusetts a three-year prison sentence for illegally reentering the United States after authorities had deported him.

According to the Boston Herald, Carlos Geovanni Martínez-Aguilar, known as “Buffalo,” an alleged founder of the violent MS-13 street gang or Mara Salvatrucha in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty back in April to illegal re-entry into the United States.

U.S. prosecutors said the 38-year-old Martínez-Aguilar was sentenced this week to three years in prison followed by two years of supervised release. Most legal experts say the sentence is light for a known gang member whose had multiple deportations and a prior conviction for robbery.

Court documents indicate Martínez-Aguilar is a native of El Salvador, who first illegally entered the U.S. in 1995 and managed to remain in the country up until 2002 when he was deported back to Central America after a robbery conviction.

However, Martínez-Aguilar  again illegally reentered the country in 2005 and federal authorities discovered he gave a false name after he was arrested in Lawrence, Massachusetts for armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, making threats, knowingly providing police with a false name,

Despite the charges, Martínez-Aguilar still managed to get released by posting bond but immediately jumped bail and went on the lam.

Police issued a warrant for his arrest, and he was even featured segment on “America’s Most Wanted.” Last September, authorities nabbed Martinez-Aguilar in Dallas, Texas.

During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton cited the need to protect the public as the reason for sending the MS-13 member to prison, a gang he called a dangerous and violent criminal organization.

Immigrants fleeing El Salvador’s brutal civil war first founded MS-13 over two decades ago in the Southern California area. Law enforcement officials say the group’s founders took lessons learned from El Salvador’s civil strife to the streets of Los Angeles, as they garnered a fierce reputation as one of the most ruthless and sophisticated street gangs in the country, with a propensity for violence, especially against rival gang members.

The gang currently operates in 46 states across the U.S. and have an estimated 10,000 members in its ranks.

MS-13 soon spread throughout Central America after many of its members were deported to their native homeland.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jason Shatarsky told the Associated Press that federal authorities have implicated MS-13 gang members for numerous crimes ranging from murder, kidnapping, racketeering, human trafficking, and drug smuggling.

In 2012, the U.S. State Dept. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated MS-13 as a transnational criminal organization, which subjects the group to government sanctions, making it easier for U.S. federal law enforcement agencies to seize millions of dollars in profits derived from the group’s illicit activities.

It would mark the first time a street gang was given such a designation.

Officials say members routinely channel illicit profits back to the MS-13 leadership based in Central America.

The actions that were taken by the U.S. government have also made it more difficult for gang members to use banks and wire transfer services to move profits from the group’s rackets.

Get the latest news from the world of crime