What to Know
- DOJ indicts eight alleged members of MS-13 gang. Seven are identified and in custody; the eighth, whose name remains sealed, is on the run.
- Group accused of attempted murder and assault using a variety of weapons, including guns, machetes and bats, in six attacks.
- MS-13 gang has operated in the U.S. since the 1980s and has branches in many U.S. cities.
Federal prosecutors say eight accused MS-13 members have been indicted in Texas on charges tied to alleged gang activities including racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder and assault.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, who announced the charges at a news conference Friday in Dallas, said "the gang is one of the most violent and ruthless gangs on the streets today."
"These eight defendants and others allegedly embarked on a spree of violence for MS-13 across the Dallas area over just a few months, including a machete and shotgun attack on four victims at a public park in Irving," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan.
The latest news from around North Texas.
A news release said some of the defendants are tied to attacks in Dallas and Irving last year using a variety of weapons, including machetes, knives, bats and shotguns, in at least six attacks targeting drug dealers and members of the 18th Street Gang.
Charged in the 18-count indictment, unsealed Friday, are the following seven alleged MS-13 members and associates currently in custody.
- Rolan Ivan Hernandez-Fuentes, 25, aka Ivan Fuentes, Tasmania, Ronal Ivan and Fuentes Hernandez;
- Jerson Gutierrez-Ramos, 20, aka Gerson Gutierrez, aka Sparky;
- Cristian Wilfredo Cabrera-Cruz, 26, aka Cristin Benjamin Vigil and Mama;
- Kevin Cruz, 19, aka Street Danger;
- Jose Armando Saravia-Romero, 19, aka Jose Saravia, Mandy and Pinky;
- Manuel Amaya-Alvarez, 21, aka Manuel Amaya and Chocolate;
- Jonathan Alexander Baires, 20, aka Splinter
The name of the eighth defendant, who is on the run, is still sealed.
"We are determined to dismantle this organization whenever we find it in order to make our communities safer in Texas," Cox said.
Court documents said the international MS-13 gang has been operating in the U.S. since at least the 1980s. The DOJ said they are primarily comprised of immigrants or descendants of El Salvador with branches, or cliques, in cities around the country -- this includes the Irving Loco Salvatruchas click in the Dallas area.
The DOJ said one of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members are required to commit acts of violence to join and maintain membership and that associates must attack and kill rivals, known as "chavalas," whenever possible.