Silver Spring Man Convicted for Role in Gang Murder, Prosecutors Say

A federal jury Wednesday convicted a Silver Spring man in connection with gang activity. Prosecutors believe the man is a member of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

Raul Ernesto Landaverde-Giron was found guilty of murder in aid of racketeering, and for that charge he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for 9:30 a.m. June 13. Landaverde-Giron, who is also known as “Humilde” and “Decente,” remains detained.

The statement said the jury also convicted Landaverde-Giron with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; using, carrying and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and murder resulting from the use, carrying and discharging of a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to the indictment, MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. The statement quoted Attorney General Jeff Sessions who said MS-13 has more than 10,000 members across 40 U.S. states. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 operate throughout Prince George’s, Montgomery and Frederick counties, the statement said.

MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.  MS-13 imposes “greenlights,” or orders to be killed, on members or associates who betray the gang by cooperating with law enforcement or violating significant gang rules.

According to evidence presented at the three-week trial, from at least 2012 through at least 2016, MS-13 members planned and committed numerous crimes, including murders and attempted murders in Prince George’s and Frederick counties. Gang members also extorted owners of illegal businesses, among other crimes. Landaverde-Giron was a member of the MS-13 Normandie Locos Salvatrucha Clique.

Trial evidence showed that on Nov. 30, 2013, Landaverde-Giron, along with two other Normandie Clique members, murdered an individual in Frederick, who had fled El Salvador to escape a greenlight imposed by MS-13 members in El Salvador.

After a co-conspirator recognized the victim in Frederick, Normandie Clique members called an MS-13 leader in prison in El Salvador to confirm the greenlight was still in effect, according to the statement.

A co-conspirator then lured the victim to a wooded area in Frederick, where he shot the victim in the head, and Landaverde-Giron and another co-conspirator stabbed the victim in the face and neck, the statement said. Landaverde-Giron was promoted within the Normandie Clique for his participation in this murder.

In addition to this conviction, five of the seven defendants charged in this case have previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the racketeering conspiracy.

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