Criminal alien, MS-13 leader sentenced to life imprisonment

U.S. Border Patrol agents may continue to use deadly force against people who throw rocks and other objects at them, according to Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher. The agency upholds the policy despite a government-commissioned review recommending that... (

Jim KouriLaw Enforcement Examiner

Related Photo:

Police Times

November 22, 2013

An illegal alien and leaderof one of the nation's largest organized crime gangs found out on Thursday in a Central Islip, N.Y., courtroom that he will spend the remainder of his life in a federal prison facility, according to a Justice Department and FBI statement.

Carlos Ortega, also known as “Silencio,” a former leader of the Sitios Locos Salvatruchas clique of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 street gang, was sentenced to life in prison at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, a suburb of New York City, by United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco.

The 24-year-old Ortega was convicted onMarch 21, 2013, following a six-week trial on all counts of thegrand jury indictment, including murder, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, assault with deadly weapons, and related firearms and conspiracy offenses, according to Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“Ortega’s journey to federal prison began in El Salvador when he joined MS-13 and continued when he illegally entered the U.S. and chose to maintain his allegiance to the gang. Ortega committed heinous acts of violence in the name of MS-13, cutting a swath of murder from Brentwood to Far Rockaway, all within the span of a few weeks,” stated U.S. Attorney Lynch.

“From a suspected rival gang member, to an MS-13 gang memberwho was not violent enough, there was no room for mercy in the gang’s code of enforcing respect through murder. Today’s life sentence is a fitting end to Ortega’s reign of terror. He will now have the rest of his life to contemplate the just results of his allegiance to the killing machine known as MS-13,” Ms. Lynch said.

During a jury trial, the prosecuting attorney and her team proved that Ortega, along with his fellow MS-13 gang members, committed two murders and one attempted murder in February and March 2010.

First, Ortega was convicted in connection with the murder of 21-year-old David Sandler and the attempted murder of 20-year-old Aaron Galan in Brentwood, New York, on Feb. 17, 2010. Ortega and his fellow MS-13 gang members lured Sandler, whom the MS-13 believed was a member of their rival gang, the Latin Kings, to Timberline Drive in Brentwood under the pretext of buying marijuana from him.

Once Sandler arrived, Ortega shot him in the face at close range, killing him. Ortega also shot Sandler’s close friend, Galan, who was with Sandler at the time, in the face. However, Galan survived his wound with the prosecutor call his survival "miraculous."

At trial, Ortega was also convicted of the March 17, 2010 murder of Mario Alberto Canton Quijada in Far Rockaway located in New York City's borough of Queens.

Quijada, who was a fellow member of the MS-13, was killed because of his reluctance to “put in work,” or attack rival gang members on behalf of the MS-13. On March 17, 2010, Quijada was lured to the beach in Far Rockaway under the guise of attacking rival gang members. Once alone on the beach, the MS-13 gang members tried to shoot Quijada in the head with a semi-automatic handgun, which had been used in several other murders committed by the MS-13, including the murders of a young woman and her 2-year-old son.

However, the gun jammed. Deprived of a functioning firearm, Ortega and the other MS-13 members attacked Quijada with knives and machetes, viciously stabbing and hacking him to death.

Ortega’s conviction is the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York targeting members of the MS-13, a violent international street gang composed primarily of illegal and legal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

With numerous branches, or “cliques,” the MS-13 is the largest street gang on New York's Long Island. Since 2002, more than 200 MS-13 members, including more than two dozen clique leaders, have been convicted on federal felony charges in the Eastern District of New York.

Since 2010 alone, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch's office has convicted more than 30 members of the MS-13 on charges relating to their participation in one or more murders.

Suggested by the author

MS-13-linked "pimp" imprisoned for sex trafficking teenage girls
MS-13 members sentenced to prison for racketeering conspiracy
MS-13 members get hard time for gang violence in New York
MS-13 member sentenced to life in prison for 2007 Virginia murder
MS-13 member sentenced to life imprisonment for murder