BOSTON, Mass. MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Rico Conspiracy Involving Cocaine Trafficking | USAO-MA | Department of Justice #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – May.02: A member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique in the metro Boston area, pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute cocaine #AceNewsDesk report

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Rico Conspiracy Involving Cocaine Trafficking 04/27/2017 12:00 AM EDT

Efrain Yanes-Vasquez, a/k/a “Caballo,” 35, an El Salvadorian national living in Chelsea and Pittsfield, Mass., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for July 27, 2017. Under the terms of the plea agreement, parties both recommend that Yanes-Vasquesz be sentenced to 87 months in prison. He will also be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.

After a three-year investigation, Yanes-Vasquez was one of 61 defendants named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence against rival gang members to gain promotions and to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder rival gang members whenever possible. During the investigation, Yanes-Vasquez was identified as a member of the ESLS clique in the metro Boston area. In furtherance of the MS-13 RICO conspiracy, Yanes-Vasquez and several other MS-13 members conspired to transport and distribute kilogram-sized quantities of cocaine in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. When Yanes-Vasquez was arrested in Pittsfield, Mass. on Sept. 15, 2016, federal agents seized a loaded firearm from his residence.

The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Yanes-Vasquez is the fifteenth defendant to plead guilty in this case.

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