Eight illegal immigrants, all members of the notorious MS-13 gang, have been indicted on charges that they carried out a brutal crime spree in otherwise quiet neighborhoods across north Texas.
The U.S. Justice Department announced the indictments on Friday, noting also that one of the suspects is still at large.
The crime spree took place across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in 2017, and authorities quickly discovered that MS-13 gang members were targeting rivals in other North Texas gangs. The attacks involved shootings, stabbings, and machete attacks.
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.
Nealy Cox said the men are accused of targeting rival gangs.
The charges include racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.
The men each face 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
None of them are in the United States legally, Nealy Cox said. If they are convicted, they will be deported upon completion of their sentences, officials said.
The men are identified as 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.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement lauded the indictments.
— ICE (@ICEgov) July 13, 2018
The crimes the men are accused of are especially shocking and brutal.
The men are accused of a machete and shotgun attack on four people at a park in Irving in September. Nealy Cox said the men targeted other rival gang members.
Other attacks include:
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.
A machete attack against a drug dealer on July 15, 2017, in the 200 block of West Rochelle Road in Irving.
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.
A shooting of a member of the 18th Street Gang in August 2017 in two Dallas parks and an apartment complex in Dallas.
Multiple machete attacks and shooting against four people, one of whom is a member of the 18th Street Gang, in various locations in Dallas and Irving starting at the beginning of 2017 to Sept. 25, 2017.
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.”
She said it’s hard to say how rampant gangs are in North Texas, but said “several investigations” are open and that the area does have a gang problem.
As MS-13 and other gangs have gained a foothold in North Texas, both local authorities and the FBI field office in Dallas have boosted efforts to fight gang-based crime and increase immigration enforcement.
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