MS-13’s Most Vicious ‘Animals’: the Brutal Gangsters Still on the Run Including One Who Murdered a Fellow Member and Another Who Shot Dead His Ex-girlfriend
Snejana Farberov, Daily Mail, August 1, 2017
MS-13 has emerged as America’s most brutal street gang, sowing terror wherever it’s got a foothold and leaving a trail of mutilated corpses in its wake.
The Latino gang’s ultra-violent criminal activities have drawn the attention of President Donald Trump, who vowed to eradicate the criminal enterprise in a controversial speech delivered last week in Long Island, New York, where MS-13 units, known in Spanish as ‘clicas,’ have been holding towns in fear through acts of murder and bloody retribution.
‘They kidnap. They extort. They rape and they rob,’ Trump told an audience of police officers on Friday. ‘They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs, they slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals.’
In that speech, Trump suggested that police should not be ‘too nice’ to suspected MS-13 ‘thugs’ and condoned using ‘rough’ methods when dealing with accused gangsters – words that have been met with sharp criticism by many law enforcement officials across the nation.
Having been started by Salvadoran immigrants on the streets of Los Angeles in the 1980s, MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, is now estimated to have some 10,000 members in the US, many of them teenage boys and young men from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
As Fox News first reported, among the gangsters there are currently five men considered to be the most-wanted affiliates of MS-13 in the country, suspected of slaying both rival and fellow gang members.
Walter Yovany Gomez: The 28-year-old undocumented immigrant from Honduras is the only member of MS-13 who has earned a spot on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Yovaniy Gomez, dubbed ‘Cholo,’ is wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of a man in Plainfield, New Jersey, in May of 2011. The victim was suspected of socializing with a rival gang and had been ordered to be killed by MS-13 leaders. It is alleged that Gomez and another gang member, after an evening of socializing with the victim, attacked him. The victim was struck in the head numerous times, had his throat cut, and was stabbed 17 times in the back. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Gomez in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, on September 19, 2013, after he was charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering. He was last seen in Maryland after he was driven there from New Jersey. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
Robert Morales: The 39-year-old, known as ‘Casper,’ is believed to be a member of the Coronado clique of MS-13. He is wanted for the alleged murder of two men and the attempted murder of a woman in Los Angeles. On July 31, 2000, Morales allegedly shot and killed a man waiting at a bus stop. On November 9, 2000, Morales allegedly shot and killed a fellow MS-13 gang member, and fired several shots at the victim’s girlfriend. On January 22, 2001, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County issued an arrest warrant after Morales was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. A federal warrant charging Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution was issued on January 17, 2007.
Morales has a long criminal history including several assaults, burglary, narcotics transportation, and domestic violence. He has ties to El Salvador.
Carlos Flores Garcia and Victor Alfonso Argueta: Garcia, 30, and Argueta, 31, both of El Salvador, are wanted for their alleged involvement in a double murder in Baltimore County, Maryland.
On January 8, 2006, the men were at a club in South Baltimore when they met the two male victims. It is believed the murders occurred because the suspects thought they saw one of the victims flash a rival gang sign. Law enforcement investigation revealed that the victims had no gang affiliation.
When the two victims left the club, they were approached by the suspects and agreed to meet them behind a local school. The two male victims were then stabbed multiple times with knives and died.
Garcia was charged in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County with two counts of first degree murder on September 11, 2006. A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Garcia and he has been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Argueta was charged in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County with accessory to commit first degree murder after the fact and conspiracy to act as an accessory to commit first degree murder after the fact on September 11, 2006. A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Argueta and he has been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Carlos Alberto Gonzalez-Barahona: The 26-year-old El Salvadorian national has been deported multiple times from the US and is wanted for killing his estranged girlfriend in June, earning him a spot on Texas Department of Public Safety’s Ten Most Wanted list.
In 2010, Gonzalez-Barahona was convicted of Burglary of a Habitation after an incident in Harris County. In October 2013, he was deported from the United States back to El Salvador.
Then on June 18, Gonzalez-Barahona allegedly shot and killed his estranged girlfriend at their apartment in northwest Houston. After the shooting, he reportedly fled the Harris County area and abandoned a pickup truck he was driving in Wharton County. His whereabouts since then are not known. Prior to abandoning the truck on June 20, he allegedly kidnapped the driver of the truck at gunpoint in Brazoria County.
On June 20, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Gonzalez-Barahona’s arrest for Murder, followed by another warrant issued in July for Aggravated Kidnapping.
MS-13 works as an umbrella grouping of units, some of which are larger and more violent than others.
Most MS-13 members are young men that trace their heritage to El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala, and among the members there are as many immigrants as there are US citizens. Many were born in the United States.
Police on Long Island, where gang-ridden Brentwood is located, say many minors who arrived on their own from Central America and without residency papers have been recruited by the gang, many times through death threats.
They say this happened even in the case of a boy who was just 10. The average age of gang members arrested in Suffolk County, which includes Brentwood, is 18.
MS-13 generally uses machetes and baseball bats to kill people, leaving their bodies horribly disfigured. It seeks respect and control of territory. Any perceived slight can turn out to be deadly.
Almost all of the gang’s victims come from the local Hispanic community where it resides, and they are often unauthorized immigrants.
Gang units tend to arise in middle-class or lower middle class neighborhoods that are next to richer districts.
Such is the case on New York’s Long Island, or in the Washington suburbs in Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed the Justice Department’s law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of MS-13 members, as directed by an executive order Trump signed in February.
Last week, Sessions traveled to El Salvador to increase international cooperation against the ruthless gang.