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Date: 03-31-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Jose Lainez Martinez

Case Number:

Judge: James K. Bredar

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for Mobile

Defendant's Attorney:

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Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including a Murder .

Maryland MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced to 24 Years in Federal Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including a Murder

Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Jose Lainez Martinez, age 29, an El Salvadoran national residing in Silver Spring, Maryland, yesterday to 24 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after Lainez Martinez pleaded guilty to his participation in a racketeering conspiracy, including a murder, related to his activities as part of the MS-13 gang.

The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge William J. DelBagno of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

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 Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Frederick 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, both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against rival gangs. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible. Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly in violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by gang leadership, increases the respect accorded to that member, resulting in that member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and opens the door to promotion to a leadership position.

As detailed in the plea agreement, from at least January 2020, Lainez Martinez was a member or associate of the MS-13 Fulton Locos Salvatruchas (“FLS”) clique and agreed with members of MS-13 to conduct and participate in the gang’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity that included murder, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion and drug distribution. Lainez Martinez admitted that, to assist the gang to raise money, he participated in the sale of marijuana and the collection of extortion money from brothels and other businesses, providing the proceeds to gang leadership.

In the Spring of 2020, a MS-13 member, who was a former roommate of Victim 20, was assaulted by Victim 20 and others because they believed the MS-13 member had stolen property from Victim 20. After being told of the assault, MS-13 members indicated that the gang would have to retaliate against Victim 20 to maintain its standing. MS-13 gang members also believed that Victim 20 was associated with the rival 18th Street gang, which was another sufficient reason to kill him.

According to the plea agreement, the night of May 25, 2020, LAINEZ MARTINEZ and other MS-13 gang members gathered in a park in Silver Spring, Maryland. During that meeting, participants in the meeting discussed the plan to murder of Victim 20, which was scheduled to happen the morning of May 26, 2020.

As detailed in court documents, on May 26, 2020, at approximately 7:05 a.m., two FLS MS-13 gang members approached Victim 20 as he left his apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland and fired handguns at him repeatedly, hitting him eight times and killing him.

Following the murder, Lainez Martinez and co-defendant Oscar Efrain Zavala Urrea traveled to Annapolis where they met a third MS-13 gang member. Lainez Martinez and Zavala Urrea changed their clothes and disposed of the old clothing. They gave the third gang member a backpack containing two firearms for safe keeping. A few days later, Maryland State Police stopped the third gang member who had the backpack containing the two firearms.

Last week, Chief Judge Bredar sentenced co-defendant Oscar Efrain Zavala Urrea, age 23, an El Salvadoran national residing in Silver Spring, Maryland, to 25 years in federal prison for his participation in the racketeering conspiracy.

Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tiplines that you can call to report what you know. You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you can call HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.


Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 24 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release

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