A Maryland man was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, murder and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and other charges in connection with his La Mara Salvatrucha, aka “MS-13” gang, activities between 2015 and 2019.
Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales, aka Psicopata, aka Convicto, 23, of Annapolis, pleaded guilty to the offenses on May 5. According to court documents, Reyes-Canales was a member and associate of MS-13 and participated in a racketeering conspiracy that included assaults, murder, attempted murder, robbery and drug trafficking. Specifically, in 2016, Reyes-Canales participated in the murder of a suspected rival gang member and conspired and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis. In addition, between January 2016 and February 2017, Reyes-Canales and other MS-13 members/associates sold cocaine and marijuana to raise funds for the gang. The drug proceeds were used to purchase more narcotics and weapons, and to send to MS-13 members and associates in other states and in El Salvador.
“Due to the diligent work of our law enforcement partners and the department prosecutors in this case, Reyes-Canales and his MS-13 co-defendants will no longer be able to victimize the Annapolis community,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Reyes-Canales and his co-defendants murdered one victim and attempted to murder two others, causing irreparable harm to the victims and their families. We will never stop pursuing those MS-13 gang members who intimidate and harm our communities.”
Co-defendants Marlon Cruz-Flores, 25, Fermin Gomez-Jimenez, 23, and Manuel Martinez-Aguilar, aka “El Lunatic” and “Zomb,” 22, all of Annapolis, previously pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and gun charge; both Gomez-Jimenez and Cruz-Flores were sentenced to 38 years in prison and Martinez-Aguilar was sentenced to 24 years. Co-defendant David Diaz-Alvarado, 20, of Annapolis, pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering in connection with his MS-13 gang activities. Co-defendant Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, 23, of Annapolis, was convicted on Oct. 31, 2019, of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering for the murder of Victim 1 after an 11-day jury trial; he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2022. All of the defendants remain detained.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Anne Arundel Police Department, the Annapolis Police Department and the Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Office investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Matthew Hoff and Samantha Mildenberg Loiero of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Stendig of the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tip lines 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.