A 78-page indictment charges all but one of the 22 LA-based defendants with conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
RICO charge alleges nearly 200 ‘overt acts,’ beginning with the transportation of $1.22 million in narcotics proceeds that were seized in Nebraska in 2010
The majority of the alleged MS-13 conduct outlined in the indictment – including seven murders – started in 2017 and continued into this year
Indictment focuses on murders committed to increase the gang’s membership, expand power and intimidate outsiders
Four counts of first-degree murder are related to machete, knife and baseball bat killings in the Angeles National Forest
RICO charge alleges drug-trafficking activities, including sales to Fulton clique
16 July 2019
A federal indictment alleges members and associates of the MS-13 gang committed at least seven murders including several in which victims were hacked to death with machetes in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest over the past two years.
The indictment, shared Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, charges 22 people linked to a subset of the gang known as the Fulton clique and the unsealed document states how in one case a member of a rival gang who was believed to have defaced MS-13 graffiti was targeted.
The indictment states that on March 6, 2017, the rival – referred to as J.S. – was abducted at The Wash, choked and driven to a remote area of the Angeles National Forest where five people – Angel Amadeo Guzman, Ever Joel Morales, Fernando Garcia Parada, Jose Baquiax Alvarez, and Edwin Isaac Mendez – dismembered him with a machete and threw the body parts into a canyon after Guzman cut the heart out of the body.
They then met at an abandoned church occupied by Edgard Velasquez to show him photographic proof of the slaying.
The indictment states that Velasquez had telephonic contact with the alleged participants eight times that day.
The 12-count indictment that was unsealed on Monday, charges gang leaders who allegedly authorized and coordinated the murders.
Alleged members who have been accused were pictured with their faces partially concealed in a clip from CBS 2.
It focuses on 200 overt acts to increase the gang’s membership, expand power and intimidate outsiders, starting with alleged $1.22 million drug-trafficking activities, including the sale of narcotics proceeds to the Fulton clique in Maryland that was seized in Nebraska in 2010.