Mara Salvatrucha leader in New York sentenced to 25 years in prison

15 minutes.- A leader of a gang affiliated with the Mara Salvatrucha was sentenced to 25 years in prison in New York.

The man pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, conspiring to distribute drugs and use of weapons linked to violent crimes.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office indicated that Ronald Catalán, 30, was, until his arrest in July 2017, the leader of the Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas.

This organization is a subgroup of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang that operates in Brentwood, Long Island, New York.

Catalan was among the group of 17 suspected gang members arrested at the time and related to 12 murders in New York.

In October 2018, Catalán pleaded guilty and this Tuesday he heard the sentence imposed by federal judge Joseph F. Bianco.

The acting federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, Mark J. Lesko, said that “Catalan will deservedly spend decades in prison for the violent and brutal acts committed.”

In addition to directing, as leader of the MS-13, other members of the band to carry out these actions.

He specified that “his ruthless retaliatory attacks against so-called rivals to improve their status in MS-13 demonstrate his complete and callous disregard for life.

Salvatrucha in New York

On June 23, 2009, Catalán and other members of the Locos Salvatruchas, armed with pistols, drove through Brentwood in search of members of a rival gang to assassinate them.

The purpose of these murders was to increase his status in MS-13.

Upon seeing a group of men who they believed were members of the Bloods gang, they got out of their cars, approached them and began shooting.

Following the shooting, a man was injured in the armpit and back. He survived the attack, after surgery.

Catalán also admitted, as part of his agreement with federal authorities, that on October 21, 2015 he tried to assassinate two men, also on Long Island, alleged members of the Latin Kings gang, in revenge for an attack on the MS-13 that same day, the prosecution said in a statement.

Catalán led two new members of the MS-13 to carry out the shootout against the alleged Latin Kings, for which he handed them revolvers.

In the shooting there were two wounded who survived the attack, the statement added.

It further indicates that Catalán admitted that between January 2015 and February 2016 he and other members of the Locos Salvatruchas conspired to distribute cocaine and marijuana to help finance MS-13 operations.

The Prosecutor’s Office stressed that this Tuesday’s sentence is the last in a series of legal proceedings against members of the MS-13.

MS-13 is considered a transnational criminal organization that is based in El Salvador and Honduras.

In the US, thousands of its members are immigrants from Central America.

He indicated that with numerous subgroups, MS-13 is the most violent gang operating on Long Island.

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