Possible life sentence for MS-13 leader
A Silver Spring resident and leader of a clique of the MS-13 gang faces life in federal prison after his Friday guilty plea to charges including racketeering, murder and conspiracy to murder a witness.
A series of killings and retaliatory shootings and gang fights attributed to Juan Carlos Moreira and his minions took place across the region from 2003 through 2005, the federal charges against him stated.
The plea included Moreira's admission that he went to a gang gathering spot near a convenience store in Mount Rainier on Nov. 22, 2003, to fire a single shot to the head of a witness to the fatal stabbing of a suspected rival at Moreira's apartment that same day.
His plea also included an admission that he was part of a fight with another gang at an Alexandria fast food restaurant on Jan. 5, 2005. The fight culminated about two weeks later in a spray of gunfire outside an Alexandria apartment building that killed one teen and wounded two others, authorities said.
Moreira, a/k/a “Stokey” and “Stocky,” 30, was a native of El Salvador who lived in Silver Spring. In his plea agreement, Moreira said he was born in El Salvador where he was “jumped in” to the Sailor Locos Salvatruchos Westside clique.
In 1998, Moreira entered the U.S. illegally and, along with four others, founded the SLSW clique in Maryland in 2000, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for Maryland.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors withdrew their notice saying they intended to seek the death penalty in the case.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14 in Greenbelt.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Mary Pat Flaherty
August 11, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories: Alexandria , From the Courthouse , Gangs , Mary Pat Flaherty , Montgomery , Pr. George's
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