The founder and leader of an MS-13 gang in Maryland was sentenced Monday to over 21 years in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and guns, arming gang members, and coordinating violence in Washington D.C. suburbs.
26-year-old Jose Augustin Salmeron-Larios January was a member of the Parkview Locos Salvatrucha clique of Mara Salvatrucha, better known as MS-13, and served as the gang’s Maryland Program Leader, overseeing members and associates in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County.
“Kill, steal, rape, control”
These branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively to engage in criminal activity and to assist one another in avoiding detection by law enforcement. They operate in a ruthless manner. No wonder when you realize MS-13’s creed is based on one of its mottos, “Mata, roba, viola, controla,” which translates to, “kill, steal, rape, control.”
For example, in April 2015, Salmeron-Larios and other MS-13 members and associates traveled to New York, met with MS-13 members there and discussed criminal business. Salmeron-Larios admitted that on Novomber 7, 2015, he and other MS-13 gangsters traveled to Hyattsville, Maryland, intending to murder a member of the 18th Street Gang. Two MS-13 members lured him to a location in Hyattsville.
Shot in the face
Salmeron-Larios and two MS-13 hitmen, all armed with firearms, went to the meeting location. They got out of their car, while another MS-13 accomplice waited in the vehicle. When the victim arrived in a car driven by another person, one of Salmeron-Larios’s MS-13 hitmen fired his handgun into the vehicle, attempting to kill the rival gangster, who was struck in the face by one of the gunshots.
Salmeron-Larios and his accomplices then returned to their vehicle and left the area. The guns used during this crime, including the gun possessed by Salmeron-Larios, were taken to the residence of the member who shot the 18th Street Gang member. Miraculously, the man survived the shooting. He lost an eye, sustained loss of hand and leg function, and was permanently disfigured as a result of the hit attempt but was still breathing.
Gun and drug running
Salmeron-Larios also admitted that in January of 2016, he traveled to Florida and obtained firearms, which were distributed to MS-13 members for use in Maryland. He also gave his underlings narcotics, including cocaine. Finally, on June 8 and June 9, 2016, Salmeron-Larios discussed an attack upon suspected rival gang members with other MS-13 members.
During several conversations, Salmeron-Larios discussed providing a firearm to a member of the Sailors Clique to be used against rival gang members in the area of 23rd Avenue in Langley Park “by the towers.” Salmeron-Larios instructed one individual where to find the gun and that it was loaded. He instructed another MS-13 member to loan a gun to a member of the Sailors Clique.
It was business as usual.
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