BALTIMORE, MD—A federal grand jury in Maryland has returned an indictment charging four members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking.
Three of the defendants are scheduled to have initial appearances this week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
The following defendants, all from Baltimore, are charged with racketeering conspiracy:
Wilson Arturo Constanza-Galdomez, a/k/a “Humilde” and “Marco Saravia,” 23;
Edis Omar Valenzuela-Rodriguez, a/k/a “Little Felon,” 22;
Jonathan Pesquera-Puerto, a/k/a “Truney,” 21; and
Wualter Orellana-Hernandez, a/k/a “Solotario” and “Little Diablo,” 21.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department (editor’s note: Melissa Hyatt was still Chief of Police when the suspects were indicted on November 30); Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
According to court documents, La Mara Salvatrucha gang, also known as “MS-13”, is an international criminal organization composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and throughout the United States. In Maryland and elsewhere, MS-13 members are organized in “cliques,” smaller groups that operate in a specific city or region. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible. In Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MS-13 maintained rivalries with the 18th Street Gang, the Cruddy Boys, the Highlandtown Boys, the Surenos Gang, and the Bloods gang, among others.
Constanza-Galdomez and Pesquera-Puerto allegedly were members or associates of the Carlington Locos Salvatrucha (CALS) clique and Valenzuela-Rodriguez and Orellana-Hernandez allegedly were members of the Huntington Criminales Locos Salvatrucha (HCLS) clique. The indictment alleges that, from June 2019 through at least October 2021, the defendants participated in the racketeering activities of MS-13, including two murders, four attempted murders, drug trafficking offenses, and witness tampering.
As detailed in the indictment, on April 25, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, Orellana-Hernandez and other members and associates of MS-13 conspired to assault a victim, whom they suspected was a rival gang member. That same day, they allegedly assaulted the victim 1 in Baltimore, by striking him with machetes multiple times. Other members and associates of MS-13 subsequently reported the assault to MS-13 leadership. On May 14, 2020, Valenzuela-Rodriquez and another MS-13 member allegedly attempted to lure a second victim to Patterson Park, where Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, and other MS-13 members and associates attempted to murder him by stabbing him with a knife.
The indictment alleges that on May 29, 2020, the defendants lured a third victim, whom they suspected of associating with rival gang members, to a park in Cockeysville, where they stabbed her multiple times, murdering her. Another MS-13 member served as a look-out to make sure they were not arrested by law enforcement while they murdered the third victim.
On June 5, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Valenzuela-Rodriguez, Orellana-Hernandez, and other MS-13 members and associates allegedly lured a fourth victim, whom they suspected was a rival gang member that cooperated with law enforcement, to an area near the CSX Bayview Yard in Baltimore, where they murdered her. As detailed in the indictment, the fourth was stabbed numerous times with sharp objects. After the murder, members and associates of MS-13 reported the murder to MS-13 leadership in an effort to get credit for participating and to increase their status within MS-13.
The indictment also details the conspiracies to commit murder and the attempted murders of two other victims. The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to murder a fifth victim, whom they believed was a rival gang member. On June 6, Constanza-Galdomez and other MS-13 members forced the fifth victim to go to an area in Baltimore, where they were stabbed multiple times. Then, in June 2020, the defendants and other MS-13 members conspired to murder a sixth victim 6, who had been previously “greenlit” (ordered to be killed for a serious violation of MS-13 rules). On June 6, 2020, Constanza-Galdomez, Pesquera-Puerto, and other MS-13 members and associates forced the sixth victim, at knifepoint, to go to Dundalk, to murder him. The defendants then attempted to murder the sixth victim by stabbing him multiple times with knives. Both the fifth and sixth victims survived the attacks.
Further, the indictment alleges that from 2019 through 2020, the defendants conspired to distribute marijuana, cocaine, and fentanyl, to raise funds for MS-13 to purchase drugs and weapons for the gang and to send proceeds of the drug sale to MS-13 members and associates in Maryland and other states and in El Salvador to support the gang.
If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of life in federal prison for the racketeering conspiracy.