Eight members of the notorious MS-13 gang have been indicted on charges stemming from a “spree of violence” across the Dallas area, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said Friday.
The men are accused of targeting rival gangs as part of initiations into the gang or dues to stay in the gang, she said.
The charges include racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit murder, all in aid of racketeering.
The men each face 10 years to life in prison. If they are convicted, they will be deported upon completion of their sentences, officials said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Katherine Greer, ICE Homeland Security Investigations Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge, said none of the men are in the United States legally, and added that they’re from El Salvador. It’s unknown how long they have been in the country.
The men are Rolan Ivan Hernandez-Fuentes, 25; Jerson Gutierrez-Ramos, 20; Cristian Wilfredo Cabrera-Cuz, 26; Kevin Cruz, 19; Jose Armando Saravia-Romero, 19; Manuel Amaya-Alvarez, 21; and Jonathan Alexander Baires, 20.
The eighth man has not been identified because he’s not yet detained.
The alleged attacks according to the indictment are:
A machete attack against two people on July 14, 2017, in the 5600 block of Spring Valley Road in Dallas. One victim was a member of the 18th Street Gang. The indictment didn’t say who the second victim was.
On July 15, 2017, in the 200 block of West Rochelle Road in Irving, members of MS-13 used a machete and robbed heroin from a drug dealer.
A knife and sledgehammer attack against a member of the 18th Street Gang on Aug. 9, 2017, in the 3000 block of Webb Chapel Extension in Dallas.
A metal bat attack against a member of the 18th Street Gang on Aug. 19, 2017, in the 1900 block of Grauwyler Road in Irving.
An attempted and planned out shooting of a member of the 18th Street Gang in August 2017 in two Dallas parks and an apartment complex in Dallas.
A planned attack on Sept. 25 at Running Bear Park in Irving to kill members of the 18th Street Gang. One person was shot and three others were stabbed.
Other than saying the attacks were motivated by gang rivals, officials didn’t release additional information on motive or what led up to the incidents.
Asked if agencies are focusing solely on MS-13, one of the most notorious and brutal street gangs in the United States, Nealy Cox said, “We have all of gangs on our radar … we’re not focused on one gang over another, we’re focused on violent conduct within our community.”
She said it’s hard to say how rampant gangs are in North Texas, but said “several investigations” are open.
“We like to think we don’t have a gang problem in North Texas,” Nealy Cox said. “But this case and many others that my office and others are working on demonstrate otherwise.”