A member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, was sentenced on Aug. 13 to two consecutive life sentences for a laundry list of violent crimes, including murder.
Twenty-eight-year-old Raul Ernesto Landaverde-Giron, also known as “Humilde” and “Decente,” of Silver Spring, Maryland, was a member of the MS-13 Normandie Locos Salvatrucha Clique, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Most MS-13 gang members in the United States hail from El Salvador, and many are illegal immigrants. Landaverde-Giron had previously been deported.
Evidence presented during the three-week trial showed that Landaverde-Giron, along with two other clique members, murdered an individual in a wooded area in Frederick, Maryland, on Nov. 30, 2013.
The victim had fled El Salvador to escape a kill notice on his head, or “greenlight,” imposed by MS-13.
“After a co-conspirator recognized the victim in Frederick, Normandie Clique members called an MS-13 leader in prison in El Salvador to confirm the greenlight was still in effect,” the DOJ said in a statement. “A co-conspirator then lured the victim to a wooded area in Frederick, where he shot the victim in the head and Landaverde-Giron and another co-conspirator stabbed the victim in the face and neck.”
Landaverde-Giron earned a promotion within the gang for his participation in the murder.
Witnesses at the trial testified that MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang, according to the DOJ.
Evidence presented at the trial showed that MS-13 members planned and committed numerous crimes, including murders and attempted murders in Prince George’s County and Frederick County between 2012 and 2016, according to the DOJ. Gang members also extorted from owners of illegal businesses, among other crimes.
MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Trial evidence showed that branches or “cliques” of MS-13 operate throughout Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick County, Maryland, according to the DOJ.