The Birth of the MS13 in New York

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When Edgar Torres came to Long Island, the Mara Salvatrucha did not exist. There was no trace of graffiti with the letters “M” or “S” anywhere. He was barely five years old, and the year was 1985, when the United States saw a large influx of migrants from El Salvador fleeing its bloody civil war. By then, New York was receiving more Salvadoran immigrants than any state other than California, according to figures from the now defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service.[1]

Long Island, a large island located east of Manhattan, was the specific point of arrival. It consists of Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties, the first two being considered part of New York City and the second two, suburbs that are referred to simply as Long Island.

It was to these suburbs — some of the most segregated in the United States — where the first Salvadoran immigrants arrived.[2] The recent arrivals were mostly men between the ages of 20 and 35, and they worked in construction and assembly plants or textile factories, just like Édgar’s father and uncles.

The town of Hempstead in Nassau county became one of the most important for Salvadorans. Puerto Ricans were predominant migrant community at the time, and the addition of the Salvadorans created an important part of the great Latin American mosaic. In the early 1990s, there were an estimated 90,000 Long Island residents with Salvadoran origins.[3] Ethnic and economic differences led to the emergence of street gangs, the first of which were the Latin Kings and Ñetas, created by Latin Americans (the latter being specifically Puerto Rican), and the Bloods and Crips, which were African-American. They committed robbery, got into fights and sold drugs in Hempstead and the surrounding areas. The Latin Kings intimidated the Salvadorans while at the same time the Bloods robbed them because their undocumented immigration status meant they often carried cash in their pockets instead of credit cards.

From Hempstead proper they expanded to its villages, like Freeport, as well as to neighboring Suffolk county. Freeport, located between six and seven kilometers to the south of Hempstead, would become the birthplace of the Mara Salvatrucha in New York. That is where Édgar Torres first arrived.

Birthplace: Freeport

Édgar Torres’ childhood in El Salvador was bleak, not only due to the civil war, but also because his mother abandoned him. One day she left the house to go on an errand and never returned.

“The time came when I realized, well, that bitch is never coming back,”[4] he recalled with resentment.

Before leaving forever, Édgar’s mother told his aunts that she had had a child with her brother.

Édgar’s father worked in New York, like much of his family, and he did not learn about the existence of his son until Édgar’s mother informed him of it. Neighbors and family occasionally took pity on him, and his childhood was spent hopping from village to village. “I was in the streets, man, all filthy, full of diarrhea with a big stomach full of parasites.” He was homeless, until one day when an accident happened (a television fell on Édgar’s foot) and news of the incident reached his grandmother who lived on Long Island. She had only just recently learned of the existence of her grandson. She saw a photograph of him and noticed his resemblance to her son, then asked that he be brought to the East Coast to meet his father. Édgar was barely five years old in 1985, and everything — everything — was new to him.

At that age he went to Freeport to start a new life. With only saline solution to sustain him, he almost died on the long journey through the desert. But he made it. He was one of the many unaccompanied minors who set foot on US soil during the 1980s. His new home would be a building at 45th and Broadway, a building full of people from El Salvador. The surroundings were packed with stores owned and patronized mostly by Salvadorans, and a small 7-Eleven on Broadway was a meeting place for young Salvadorans. It was a community where they could coexist and freely express their national pride.

As time went by, their thinking became more territorial and focused on protection against the African-American and Puerto Rican gangs that had begun to menace them. They decided to create their own crew, naming it “Los 7-Elevens,” but what began as a group of friends grew into a more threatening force in the neighborhood. “Hormiga,” “Cato” and others made up the group that stood outside the store to socialize and defend their territory. Édgar was content to watch from afar without getting involved.

               SEE ALSO: MS13 News and Profile

But it would not be long before Édgar fell in love with the streets and developed a taste for thievery and other illegal acts before throwing himself wholeheartedly into the criminal life, or “malandrineada, as he puts it.

Living under the same roof with his father’s wife was not easy for him, so he decided to move from Freeport to Hempstead with his grandmother. His grandmother assumed she would keep watch over him while she cared for children, made food and clothing, and sold false documents and marijuana.

“That’s when I got really bad,” states Édgar. His time in the new city did not stop his new criminal practices. Édgar liked stealing clothing. “I went around robbing kids,” he says recalling his childhood. Instead of trick-or-treating on Halloween, he schemed to strip the other kids of their clothes. With knife in hand, he snatched sneakers and even masks. That satisfied him. No longer attending school, he spent his time on the streets drinking, smoking and stealing. “I was losing it,” he says years later.

Édgar’s behavior wore out his grandmother’s patience. At that time, Salvadoran families in the United States had the idea that sending their relatives to El Salvador during the armed conflict would serve as a lesson and bring awareness to the children. An exemplary punishment, they thought. “According to them, they sent me to El Salvador so I wouldn’t mess up,” he says between laughs. There was no need for the authorities to deport him; his family cast him back to Usulután, where he would inevitably join the MS13.

Los Angelenos

By the beginning of the 1990s in Freeport, the 7-Elevens had changed their name to “La Familia” (The Family). They had also already consolidated into a more organized group with a focus on Salvadoran pride. This would soon change, however, when a handful of young men from Los Angeles blew into the Broadway 45 neighborhood. They were “Negro,” “Indio,” “Chino” and “Grillo,” four members of the Mara Salvatrucha’s Francis Locos clique who had come from Los Angeles to sing the gang’s praises.

Their speech was very appealing. The Familia was seduced and convinced to evolve into a California-style gang similar to the Bloods and Crips, which had also been imported from the West Coast. A new MS13 branch was now established in Freeport. The group changed its name again, this time to “Familia Mara Salvatrucha,” words that spread throughout town in spray-painted script. By 1991 they were the first New York clique, and “Hormiga,” “Secury,” “Curil,” “Cato,” “Durán” and “Homito” were the first members of the new generation. “They taught those guys what the MS was all about. So, you know, the MS was born. The first New York clique was Familia,” Édgar recounted from a state prison.

After replicating the MS13, the men returned to Los Angeles, leaving behind an incubating cancer. The tumor that was Familia Mara Salvatrucha began to grow beyond its original boundaries and into the village of Westbury, and the African-American and Puerto Rican gangs became its potential enemies.

The origin of the gang varies depending on who tells the story. At the beginning of 1991, in a completely unrelated incident, another group of gang members from Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles came to Hempstead. One of them was “Peligro,” a gang member whose name we changed for security reasons. Peligro traveled from Los Angeles to Long Island to escape the police.

“We moved because in the 90s they were deporting a lot of people. And, you know, we were already committing a lot of murders, so a lot left because of the heat from the police. We already had skeletons [murder victims] on top of really not having papers. 1991 was when ‘Triste,’ ‘Santos,’ ‘Curly’ and I arrived,”[5] he remembered.

Meanwhile, Triste says he went to New York out of wanderlust: “I liked the disorder of it all, and I wanted to see new places.”[6]

Thus it was that the gang members united and founded the Normandie Locos clique. One of the reasons they did so, according to Peligro, was their rivalry with Puerto Rican gangs.

“We exist thanks to the Puerto Ricans. Racism — that’s why the ‘mara’ started there,” he says. “We would go to the bars, and the first thing the Puerto Ricans would say to us was ‘cantomojado,'” a slur referring to undocumented immigrants.

To combat them, more young people joined the project. With a stronger and larger group, they pitted themselves to death against the Latin Kings and the Bloods.

“[Peligro] called us to go all in against the blacks and ‘boricuas,'” Triste explained, the latter term referring to Puerto Ricans. The clique expanded into Brentwood in Suffolk, winning more and more territory.

For a brief period, Moisés Humberto Rivera-Luna, alias “Santos,” controlled the Normandie Locos. But he would soon be deported to El Salvador, where he is currently in prison and considered one of the MS13’s highest-ranking leaders. By 1994, Normandie’s first foot soldiers, like Peligro and Triste, had already moved on to seek out other adventures in New Jersey and Virginia. In the same year, though, the city of Brentwood would witness another surge in gang activity. A young Salvadoran under the alias “Directo” took over the new Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas.

The gang kept growing. It was organic, a side effect of the Salvadoran migration to the US, where family and friends were moving. A gang member might migrate for any one of a number of reasons: some wanted a fresh start, others went in search of girls, and still others were escaping justice.


While it is difficult to know the exact order in which it happened, more and more cliques started to appear throughout Long Island. Many arose simultaneously in an isolated but parallel fashion, with none of them knowing the others existed. In Nassau county, the cliques appeared as follows: in Freeport, the Centrales Locos and Guanacos Little Cychos; in Mineola, the Mineola Locotes Sureños; in Hicksville, the Pelones Locotes Salvatruchos; in Roosevelt, the Roosevelt Locos Salvatruchas; in Long Beach, the Long Beach Locos; and in Uniondale, the Juniors Unionenses Locos. Meanwhile, in Suffolk county the following cliques emerged: around the hamlet of Central Islip, the Islip Locotes Salvatruchos, the Coronados Locos and the Western Locos; in Huntington, the Huntington Criminales Locotes Salvatrucha; in Brentwood, the Leeward Locos and the Pinos Locos Salvatrucha.[7]

Other already established cliques extended their reach, as was the case with the Familia Mara Salvatrucha. From Freeport, they stretched their tentacles north to the town of Westbury, where the Westbury Familia Mara Salvatrucha sprung forth, and where a certain “Shorty” led the clique Édgar would soon join.

              SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Gangs

For Édgar, during the first half of the 1990s “the ‘barrio’ exploded in New York.” On that, gang specialist Doctor Al Valdez agrees; he states in his research that the MS13 emerged between 1992 and 1995 in New York.[8]

When the cliques inevitably began to cross paths, the gang grew in number, reputation and violence. Drug sales, armed robbery, car theft, smuggling, trafficking weapons, extorting money from clandestine businesses and bars, seizing control of neighborhoods, charging protection money to small time dealers, killings and machete attacks became their modus operandi. Hempstead became the nerve center, the hottest gang zone in Long Island.

“Most of the murders were being committed in bars or their exits, but where the gang held the most strength was in Hempstead. That was a place where you felt like you were in El Salvador. There were bars everywhere. People were coming from all over, from Brentwood, Freeport, from all over Long Island, all over the world because that’s where the bars were, the waitresses, the action, the drugs and everything. It was like the nightlife district of Long Island. So, yeah, you know, that’s where the murders were committed,” recalls Édgar. “The Mara began killing and that was when they started to gain more respect, pure murder. When there was no death, the Mara was just any other gang.”

The result of these acts soon led some gang members to see the inside of the state penitentiary.[9] The MS13 used a weapon that differentiated them from other gangs: the machete, which did not take long to become a common tool among them. They believed that attacking with a machete showed more courage than firing a gun. Peligro said it was cheaper than a firearm, and it made no sound, which gave them more of a chance to escape.

“Anyone can kill with a gun, but to feel the flesh splitting is different,” he remembered. “That’s what we would tell the guys, a gun makes noise, but a machete gives you time to run.” As Édgar maintains, “machetes are like the badge of the MS; they spread fucking terror.”

Spider From Familia Westbury

In 1991, not long before Édgar started using a machete, the 10-year-old showed up in Puerto Triunfo, Usulután, when El Salvador was still at war. His grandmother had sent him from Hempstead to the home of his grandfather, who constantly doled out “some really nasty beatings” that added to the beatings his father gave him when he came from New York to visit him. His grandfather wanted to keep him from leading a bad life and believed the way to achieve it was through beatings.

“The old man did everything possible so I wouldn’t get caught up with the [gang], but he failed. The more he beat me, the more I gave in to my anger,” Édgar recalled.

The first Mara Salvatrucha members began to arrive in Usulután in 1993, and Édgar immediately felt an attraction to those who, like him, had come down from the United States. One of them was Amílcar Galileo Torres Rosales, known on the streets of Los Angeles as “Garrobo.” The gang member had been deported to Puerto Triunfo for possession “of weapons and other things.”[10] He was a homeboy with a strong reputation and an extensive collection of anecdotes, among them his participation in the war as a child soldier.

Garrobo is now incarcerated in Guatemala and a national gang leader, but in those days he quickly established cliques throughout Usulután, successfully enticing area youth. Édgar was one of them.

“I had never seen gangsters like that, so when I did, I liked it,” he recalled from prison.

A faithful student, Édgar spent time under Garrobo’s tutelage to graduate as a member of the MS13.

“There, I ended up in ruins. I gave my life up to the gang, to the MS, you know?”

Édgar took on the name “Araña” (“Spider”) of the South Side Locos.

Garrobo taught him how to make weapons, like makeshift guns, and bombs to take on the gang’s enemies. He trained Édgar to win knife fights, and throw grenades when circumstances called for it. At the time, there was still a surplus of explosives in El Salvador. Édgar’s looks changed. He wore baggy clothing, sleeveless shirts and baseball caps, and the first strokes of ink appeared on his skin.

In El Salvador, he committed many crimes that once again worried his family. They wanted to pull him away from the gang’s clutches, so they got him to return to Long Island.

“In 1996 they sent me to New York because in El Salvador they couldn’t handle me anymore,” he explained.

Back in Long Island, but now a gang member, Spider enrolled in Westbury High School. But the classroom would again fail to appropriately direct his energy. His experiences in El Salvador had marked him forever.

“When I got to Westbury, man, I was working for the [gang] from day one,” he said.

He wanted the street. He needed the street. And shortly after arriving, Édgar noticed several men who looked like gang members prowling his school. Not only were they Salvadoran gang members, but they belonged to the very gang he had joined back in El Salvador. One of them was “Peewee,” a member of Familia Westbury Mara Salvatrucha. He often swung by the high school entrance in his car to pick up girls. Peewee was Spider’s first contact with the MS13 in New York; it was he who introduced him to the gang’s other members.

Spider still remembers that it was in the afternoon when he arrived at Sheridan Street, and the homies were mourning the loss of a fellow gang member who had allegedly been killed by a black gang. He introduced himself. They asked him about his past, then enthusiastically welcomed him. There was Shorty, the leader of the group, plus “Cato Fredy,” “Flaco Escalera,” “Pitbull,” “Oso,” “Popeye” and more.

He socialized more and more with the clique, sharing experiences, stories from his past and knowledge about “las dos letras,” referring to the two letters “m” and “s.” Such was his closeness with the gang members that he began to attend their meetings or misas, where they talked about private clique issues and plans. Spider’s new friends wanted him to join the family and trade his old clique for theirs. Wanting the same, Spider tried to get in contact with Garrobo in El Salvador to inform him of his situation and ask his permission to make the switch. His partners in Freeport would no longer let him attend meetings without being a member and continued to pressure him to change cliques. In the end, they succeeded. A new 13-second torrent of blows was his welcome.

“I became part of the Familia clique,” Spider explained with an air of satisfaction.

SEE ALSO: Special Investigation of the MS13

One phenomenon Spider soon learned about was that the MS13, despite being one gang, was operating differently depending on geography. After his back-and-forth between El Salvador and the United States, he experienced it firsthand. The clothes the homeboys in New York wore were markedly different from those in Los Angeles or El Salvador. In New York the style took on more of an African-American influence, a Harlem style: tighter jackets and jeans, Nautica, Polo and Versace brand polo shirts, Timberland boots and a variety of hairstyles. Crewcuts or “cabezas de hongo” (“mushroom head” haircuts), baggy pants and Pendleton or other flannel shirts were West Coast style, but not in New York.

“New York had its own style,” he said. “In New York our way of dressing was more black.”

Their way of speaking too was influenced by their context. The filler “ese” used so much in California was replaced with “nigga.”

Enemies were also very different. In contrast to Los Angeles, it was the Puerto Ricans with whom they exchanged bullets, not Chicanos or Mexicans. While they and the Barrio 18, their archenemy, mercilessly killed each other in both California and El Salvador, the rival group did not exist at all on Long Island in those early days. Here, the friction with African-Americans was much greater than in the Central American ghetto of Los Angeles. But the scene would change with the appearance of another Salvadoran gang on the map.

Of course, the multicultural environment of New York allowed the ranks of the MS13 to be filled not just with Salvadorans, but also African-Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Latin Americans. “Crazy Horse” and “Trece” were examples of black “mareros,” or gang members, and “Maleante” was Puerto Rican. On Long Island the MS13 had its own hallmark.

At the time, gang member arrests had increased considerably over the course of three years, according to police figures. In 1996, there were 110 gang member arrests, in 1997 a total of 227, and in 1998 it rose to more than 252.[11] Also at the time, Roosevelt Avenue, which crosses part of neighboring Queens, was considered to be an extensive crime corridor where Mexican, Colombian, Puerto Rican and Dominican organized crime ran drug and prostitution rings. This is the context in which the letters “M” and “S” began to appear on the walls of Queens.[12] The MS13 had extended their networks to a building located between Jamaica Avenue and Linden Boulevard to create the Jamaica Locotes clique.

Competition between Salvadorans and Puerto Ricans was not only gang-related but demographic in nature. In 2000, there were an estimated 42,500 Salvadorans residing in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the second largest Latin American population in the area after Puerto Ricans.[13]

Between September and October 2001, drive-by shootings became a trend. In one such shooting, the police discovered just how deep the connections were between MS13 cliques, which by then had extended beyond the state of New York. They learned that the homies had traveled in a van from Virginia to shoot enemy gang members at a store close to the Long Island railroad. Communication between gang members in different states was the same as that used by any Central American non-gang member to be notified of job opportunities, and it could be between New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, any state to which the MS13 had spread.

Communication between Long Island and California cliques mostly had to do with gang ethics. The West Coast homies believed that because they founded the cliques, they should be the ones who guided their brothers in the east. So, when they communicated with them, it was often to correct something they did not approve of. One of the comments they made was to drop the word “Familia” from the clique name Familia Freeport Mara Salvatrucha because in the California penitentiary system it was too similar to the name of a hated rival gang: Nuestra Familia. And so it happened. Familia Freeport Mara Salvatrucha changed to the Freeport Locotes.

Despite the beginnings of some friction between the east and west, in 2001 the MS13 was considered the largest gang in Nassau County and the most violent in Long Island.[14]

First Mistakes

In 2003 David Vásquez, alias “Gigante,” wanted to stand out within the group. He craved the respect and admiration of the homeboys, but to gain it he had to “meet his quota” — demonstrate the courage and prowess expected of Freeport Locotes members. So, on the afternoon of June 18, he emptied a pistol into a crowd in Hempstead.

Several were injured, among them people who had no ties to any gangs. Less than an hour later, Gigante and others headed for Freeport, where their primary enemies were African-American gang members, and found a crowd they believed was made up of Bloods. Rookie Nieves Argueta “Scorpion” immediately drew a pistol, shooting Carlton Alexander seven times. The crime would mean his initiation into the gang, but also his sentence. They had mistaken their target once again. The youth that Scorpion shot was not a gang member. Many of the participants in the shootings were arrested and received harsh sentences.[15]

Meanwhile, Spider had been released from the juvenile detention center and knew what Gigante and the other homies had done. He knew because they were his “perros” (“dogs”) and he had already collaborated with them a lot. As such, when he found out about the arrests, he was forced to flee from New York.

“Yeah, I got out because I had to escape,” said Spider. “They were going to take me out too. They couldn’t find me at home. I should have gone with them, man, but since they couldn’t find me at home, I … went to North Carolina.”

Carolina Bound

By 2004, the gang had representatives in North Carolina. The police knew of its existence there at least since 1999, when they noticed that a couple of gang members initiated in El Salvador were committing various crimes.[16]

In the city of Charlotte, Salvadoran national Manuel de Jesús Ayala, alias “Chacua,” commanded the Charlotte Locotes Salvatrucha clique, which focused on vandalism, theft and drug dealing. Shortly thereafter he was deported, but he continued to command the clique from El Salvador. There were also soldiers from various cliques in the counties of Mecklenburg, Guilford, Wake, Durham[17] and Cumberland.[18]

But with Spider’s arrival, the list grew. His dedication to the gang was such that in 2004 he had to ask “Master Puppet” from the Hollywood Locos in El Salvador for permission to raise a clique in connection with the Familia Winstone Locotes Salvatrucha to continue spreading violence. And he was given that permission on the condition that he be held accountable to Central America.

But it would not be long before his own arrest. With a laconic tone and clear intentions to withhold information, Spider said from his cell only that he had been imprisoned for shooting a member of the Bloods in revenge for having previously stabbed him.

Spider’s life now serves as a reflection of the dynamics with which the MS13 moves and spreads, a complex phenomenon still running in tandem with the larger migratory patterns.

[1] “1982 Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service”; US Department of Justice; October; 1982; pp. 66-73.

[2] “Study calls L.I. Most Segregated Suburb”; The New York Times; June 5, 2002.

[3] Joshua Ruff; “Diasporas in Suburbia: Long Island’s Recent Immigrant Past”; Long Island History Journal; 2009.’s-recent-immigrant-past/#40a

[4] Interview with Édgar Torres, alias Spider, active gang member in the MS13 clique “Familia Mara Salvatrucha”; April 13, 2017.

[5] Interview with alias “Peligro,” Mara Salvatrucha member; the XXXX.

[6] Interview with alias “Triste,” active member of the Mara Salvatrucha clique the Normandie Locos; the XXX.

[7] Information collected from interviews with various gang members &“Mara Salvatrucha -“MS-13” USAF CONUS Threat Assessment; Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI); March 26, 2006; pp. 25-26 &“Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13): An International Perspective”; Criminal Investigative Division. MS-13 National Gang Task Force. FBI; August 26, 2005; pp. 30-33.

[8] Alfonso Valdez; Gangs. A Guide to Understanding Street Gangs, 5th Edition; Op. Cit.; p. 147.

[9] “In for Protection, And In for Life”; The New York Times; November 22, 1998.

[10] Interview with Amílcar Galileo Torres Rosales, alias Garrobo, active gang member in the Mara Salvatrucha clique South Side Century Gangsters and national leader of Guatemalan gang Rueda de los 9 between July 11, 2014 and January 22, 2015.

[11] “Our gangs: Wars, and Warrios, Go Local”; The New York Times; November 22, 1998.

[12] “Cruising the Corridor”; The New York Times; February 1, 1998.

[13] Joshua Ruff; “Diasporas in Suburbia: Long Island’s Recent Immigrant Past”; Op. Cit.

[14] “Detectives Live Under Gang’s Death Threat”; Op. Cit.

[15] “United States of America v Leonel Mejía, alias ‘Little Chino,’ Defendant, David Vásquez, alias ‘Gigante,’ and Ledwin Castro, alias ‘Hueso,’ Defendants; October 6, 2008; United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Docket Nos.: 05-2856-cr, 05-6683-cr(CON), 06-1744-cr(CON).

[16] Alvi Castro; “Mara Salvatrucha Street Gang. An International Criminal Enterprise with Roots in El Salvador´s Civil War”; Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Department of Homeland Security; March, 2005.

[17] “United States of America v. Manuel de Jesus Ayala, alias ‘Chacua;’ Alejandro Enrique Ramírez Umaña, alias ‘Wizard,’ ‘Lobo;’ Herverth Ulises Castellon, alias ‘Misterio,’ ‘Sailor;’ Julio Cesar Rosales Lopez, alias ‘Stiler;’ Juan Gilberto Villalobos, alias ‘Smoke,’ ‘Smokey;’ Elvin Pastor Fernandez-Gradis, alias ‘Tigre,’ ‘Flaco,’ ‘Juan Alberto Irias,’ ‘Freddy;’ Juan Rubén Vela García, alias ‘Mariachi;’ José Amílcar García-Bonilla, alias ‘Psicópata,’ ‘Sicario;’ Yelson Olider Castro-Licona, alias ‘Diablo;’ Carlos Ferufino-Bonilla, alias ‘Tigre;’ Nelson Hernández-Ayala, alias ‘Sixteen;’ Mario Melgar-Díaz, alias ‘Nino;’ Alexi Ricardo Ramos, alias ‘Pájaro;’ Carlos Roberto Figueroa-Pineda, alias ‘Drogo;’ Cesar Yoaldo Castillo, alias ‘Chino;’ Alexánder Granados, alias ‘Gorilón;’ Michael Stevan Mena, alias ‘Cholo;’ Johnny Elías González, alias ‘Solo;’ Jaime Sandoval, alias ‘Pelón;’ Santos Canales-Reyes, alias ‘Chicago;’ José Efraín Ayala-Urbina, alias ‘Peligroso;’ Óscar Manuel Moral Hernández, alias ‘Truchón;’ Santos Aníbal Caballero Fernández, alias ‘Garra;’ Manuel Cruz, alias ‘Silencioso;’ Javier Molina, alias ‘Silencioso;’ Javier Molina, alias ‘Big Psycho,’ ‘Gringo’ and Mario Guarjardo-García, alias ‘Speedy,’ ‘Iran Guerrero-Gómez;’” No 3:08-CR-134-RJC; June 23, 2008; United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division. Bill of indictment.

[18] Mara Salvatrucha -“MS-13” USAF CONUS Threat Assessment; Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI); March 26, 2006; p. 21.

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