Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

September 09, 2019

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

Member of Maryland MS-13 extortion operation in DC suburbs sentenced to 51 months in federal prison

GREENBELT, Md. – Gerdandino Delgado-Escobar, a/k/a “Pumba,” age 24, of Hyattsville, Md., a member of La Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”), sentenced to 51 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion. 

The sentence was announced by Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office; Acting Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Amal Awad of the City of Hyattsville Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

MS-13 is a violent gang with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively as “programs,” with the purpose of increasing the gang’s levels of organization, violence, extortion, and other criminal activity, and to assist one another in avoiding detection by law enforcement.

According to trial evidence, in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, MS-13 generated income from various sources, including the extortion of money from businesses.  In addition, they targeted legitimate businesses and criminal enterprises including drug dealers, brothels, and unlicensed “stores” where food, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes were sold.

The evidence presented at the four-day trial proved Delgado-Escobar was a member and associate of the Langley Park Salvatrucha (“LPS”) clique of MS-13.  From at least March 2013, Delgado-Escobar working with other MS-13 members and associates, extracted weekly extortion payments known as “rent” from victim business owners for operating in territory controlled by the LPS and Sailors cliques of MS-13.  According to trial testimony, the payments were generally $40 to $50 per week for beer delivery businesses and approximately $115 per week for brothel owners. 

As proven during the trial, Delgado-Escobar and his co-conspirators extorted numerous business owners operating in the Langley Park area.  Delgado-Escobar conspired with other MS-13 members and associates to obtain money from the victims through the use of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear.  According to the trial evidence in one instance, a victim who delivered beer was grabbed by the neck, had a gun put to his head, and was threatened with the murder of his entire family if the victim did not pay MS-13 for operating a business in its territory.

 “This prosecution and sentence sends a strong message to MS-13 gang members that we will not tolerate the fear and violence perpetrated by MS-13 in Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Hur.  “Federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue to work together to find and bring to justice MS-13 members who prey on our neighborhoods.”

Special Agent in Charge Fong thanks the FBI Washington and Baltimore Field Offices, HSI Baltimore, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, the City of Hyattsville Police Department, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation.  SAC Fong also thanks U.S. Attorney Hur along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Catherine K. Dick, who prosecuted this case.

 

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