MS-13 Gang Leader and 22 Associates Face Charges for Violent Slayings, Drug Trade, and Money Laundering

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In Langley Park, Maryland, there's a tree with MS13 graffiti in a gang hangout called the cemetery.Photo byGetty Images
Prosecutors have filed charges against an alleged national leader and 22 members of the MS-13 gang, accusing them of engaging in murder and other acts of violence.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York has released a 48-count superseding indictment that targets Edenilson Velasquez Larin, who is alleged to hold a leadership position in both the MS-13 and the Fulton Locos Salvatruchas (Fulton) clique. The charges against Velasquez Larin include allegations of ordering murders, overseeing drug distribution, and participating in money laundering on behalf of the MS-13.

The indictment provides a detailed account of numerous murders and attempted murders committed by the gang, which involved the use of firearms and machetes against rival gang members as well as their own associates.

According to prosecutors, starting in late 2019, Velasquez Larin and Espinoza Sanchez, leaders of the Fulton clique, instructed MS-13 members, including Jose Arevalo Iraheta, Oscar Hernandez Baires, and Erick Zavala Hernandez, to hunt down rival 18th Street gang members in the Elmont neighborhood of New York, as they were encroaching on their territory.

In the spring of 2020, Velasquez Larin, also known as "Agresor," "Saturno," and "Paco," allegedly organized for Fulton clique members from Maryland to travel to New York and assist in the search for rival gang members in Elmont.

"Alleged MS-13 member Jose Arevalo Iraheta and a Fulton member from Maryland eventually located an individual they believed to be an 18th Street member and opened fire," revealed the prosecutors.

The superseding indictment also charges 22 associates of MS-13 and the Fulton clique for their involvement in multiple murders, attempted murders, drug distribution, and money laundering.

Among the new charges is a murder charge against Leyla Carranza, who allegedly lured 17-year-old Andy Peralta to a park in Queens, New York, where he was brutally beaten, stabbed, and strangled. Juan Amaya-Ramirez and Oscar Flores-Mejia, alleged MS-13 associates, had previously been charged with Peralta's murder.

"Peralta's killers took pictures of themselves posing over his lifeless body while displaying MS-13 gang signs," stated the prosecutors. The photo was discovered in Amaya-Ramirez's iCloud account, according to the prosecution.
Victor Lopez, the MS-13 gang leader, was escorted out of the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, New York.Photo byGetty Images

The recent indictment also introduces new charges relating to the 2018 shooting death of Victor Alvarenga near his home in Queens. The indictment names alleged MS-13 national leader Velasquez Larin, Jose Espinoza Sanchez, and Tito Martinez-Alvarenga, claiming that Larin gave the order to kill Alvarenga while Sanchez oversaw the murder.

Additionally, the indictment charges Emerson Martinez-Lara and Ismael Santos-Novoa for acting as lookouts during the 2019 murder of Abel Mosso on a subway platform in Queens. Ramiro Gutierrez, Tito Martinez-Alvarenga, and Victor Lopez had previously been charged with Mosso's murder.

According to prosecutors, on February 3, 2019, Lopez and Martinez-Alvarenga followed Mosso, whom they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang, onto a train platform in Queens. Mosso was also trailed by Gutierrez.

Once inside the subway car, Lopez and Martinez-Alvarenga assaulted Mosso and later dragged him onto the platform at a subsequent stop.

"The defendants brandished a firearm, but Mosso fought back and managed to take control

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