A Hyattsville, Maryland, man was sentenced today to 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise and to life in prison for murder in aid of racketeering, in connection with his gang activities as a member of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.
The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
In addition to today’s consecutive prison sentences, U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus of the District of Maryland ordered Miguel Angel Manjivar, aka "Masflow" or "Garra," 25, to serve five years of supervised release. Manjivar was convicted by a federal jury on Sept. 30, 2016.
MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or "cliques" of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland. 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.
According to evidence presented at the three-week trial, from at least 2009 through October 2014, MS-13 members planned and committed numerous crimes, including murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults, robberies, and witness tampering and retaliation in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Gang members also extorted brothel operators and owners of other illegal businesses and tampered with and retaliated against witnesses, among other crimes. Manjivar was a member of the MS-13 Peajes Locotes Salvatrucha clique.
Trial evidence showed that on Sept. 16, 2010, Manjivar shot and killed an individual he believed to be a rival gang member on the footbridge of a park in Hyattsville. On Jan. 10, 2011, Manjivar and other MS-13 members murdered a person they believed was a rival gang member, and attempted to murder another purported rival gang member in a parking lot in Hyattsville. Manjivar and others repeatedly punched, kicked, and stabbed the victims, one of whom survived the attack.
In addition, trial evidence demonstrated that on Jan. 13, 2011, Manjivar attended a Peajes Clique meeting, where he criticized other MS-13 members for not committing enough violent crimes. Manjivar then left in a mini-van driven by a co-defendant with other Peajes members as passengers, and as a group, they attacked a person they believed to be an associate of a rival gang and dragged him back into the vehicle. Manjivar and others continued to assault him, at times attempting to use a seat belt to strangle the victim, as well as kicked, stabbed and choked him. Trial evidence demonstrated that they forcefully stripped the victim of his heavy winter clothing in order to stab him, and then dragged him into the woods, where they left him for dead and fled. The victim survived the attack.
Fourteen of the 15 defendants charged in this investigation have been convicted for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy. The final defendant is a fugitive.
HSI Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County Police Departments, and Prince George’s County and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Offices investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau and Lindsay Eyler Kaplan of the District of Maryland and Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section (OCGS). Former OCGS Trial Attorney Kevin Rosenberg assisted in the prosecution of this case.