United States Freezes Assets of Alleged MS-13 Gang Leaders

first_imgDetails of two MS-13 extortion schemes were revealed during two recent judicial proceedings that ended with six gang members receiving lengthy prison sentences. “One of my employees received a call one day on a cellphone that’s owned by the office,” a business owner in the municipality of Mejicanos testified on February 22nd before a tribunal of the Supreme Court of Justice. “[The caller] sounded like a young person and used gangland slang to tell him he belongs to Mara Salvatrucha and that he wanted $1,000 that same day as a ‘monthly rental fee.’” The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed economic sanctions on two suspected leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang and a threat to U.S. national security. The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) stated on February 16th that the U.S. assets of alleged MS-13 leaders Roberto Orellana and Dany Balmore Romero García have been frozen and U.S. entities are now prohibited from engaging in any financial or commercial transactions with the two individuals. The OFAC accused Orellana and Romero of leading MS-13 cliques and orchestrating assassination campaigns against Salvadoran law enforcement, Military, and government officials. MS-13 leaders use younger members, who are often recruited with threats, to inform business owners how much they have to pay to prevent from becoming victims of violence. “In El Salvador, MS-13 has zones under its control, as if they were Military spaces,” Rivas stated. “It is understandable that investments are required to maintain the criminal structure. This step taken by the OFAC allows them to block the financial networks that support the gang.” MS-13 engages in a wide array of crime in El Salvador, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, homicide, and extortion, according to Salvadoran and U.S. authorities. “MS-13 gang leaders have built up their enterprises to such a great degree that currently they manage every type of investment within the economy of Central America,” explained José Rivas Soriano, dean of the College of Juridical Sciences at Universidad Nueva San Salvador. A judge sentenced Josué Eduardo Parada Díaz, Vidal Armando Ramos Arabia, and William Alberto Castro Díaz to 12 years in prison for extorting the business owner, whose name is being withheld under victim and witness protection laws. For example, the gang uses bakeries and convenience stores in El Salvador and Guatemala as legally established front companies to justify their savings accounts, Rivas added. This is how they launder money and perform the financial transactions that allow them to purchase weapons and sustain their criminal activities. The U.S. Department of the Treasury protects the security of the United States by imposing economic and commercial sanctions targeting external threats to the country’s foreign policy or national security. In 2012, the U.S. government designated MS-13 as a transnational criminal organization. There are at least 30,000 MS-13 members in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, plus another 8,000 in the United States. Hi,We are a Europe based Marine Construction firm and we need an attorney to assist us in drafting a purchase and Sales agreement with a buyer in your area. Are you able to take this matter? If not, a referral will be appreciated. Ray KenOperations Manager BAM INTERNATIONALPrinses Beatrixlaan 52595 AK The HagueTel:+32465765969E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] The victim, who also has protection as a victim or witness, filed a complaint, and, in coordination with the Office of the Prosecutor General for the Republic, coordinated the delivery of the money. At that point, authorities captured José Wilfredo Rodríguez Membreño and Erick Alexander Argumedo Pacheco, who have each been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. By Dialogo March 08, 2016 Criminal enterprises The OFAC’s sanctions are supported by the National Gang Intelligence Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Investigations Division, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations because these cases, among others, involve gang members obtaining money illegally. “[This is] part of a larger effort by the Treasury Department to collaborate with authorities in Central America to combat the activities of MS-13,” OFAC Acting Director Smith said in a press release. OFAC Acting Director John E. Smith said that Orellana and Romero have led “local operations … orchestrating assassination campaigns […and…] have sought to disrupt Salvadoran government efforts to combat MS-13 activity.” The gang consists of “cliques” led by senior leaders who make decisions regarding moving into new territories and recruiting members, according to the OFAC. In a separate case, another business owner in the municipality of Chalchuapa in the department of Santa Ana was told by MS-13 to pay $5,000 in exchange for the gang not interrupting the business’ commercial activities. Extortion schemelast_img read more

Villa maintain unbeaten start

first_imgAston Villa’s unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season continued as goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann put away Hull at Villa Park. Villa had the look of a crisis club towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign, with manager Paul Lambert under intense pressure, owner Randy Lerner trying to sell the club and internal discord rife, but seven points from a possible nine paints a rosier picture this time around. Villa had to settle for a 2-1 victory but should really have enjoyed a more handsome scoreline, dominating first-half proceedings completely with neat finishes from Agbonlahor and Weimann sandwiched by shots against the woodwork from Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood. Hull were abject in those 45 minutes, arguably as bad as they have been since their return to the top flight, but tightened up after the interval and found a lifeline when Nikica Jelavic’s 72nd-minute header was turned home by Villa full-back Aly Cissokho. Both sides had been responding to midweek setbacks, Paul Lambert’s side beaten by Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup and the Tigers ousted from the Europa League on away goals. Each made seven changes from those games and there was little doubt about which side settled quicker. Villa’s dominance began almost immediately, with just 90 seconds gone, when Delph latched on to Weimann’s pass and lashed an angled shot against the outside of the near post. That energetic start appeared to catch the visitors cold and they regressed immediately to some uncharacteristic long balls. Lambert’s side attacked with more forethought, Delph, Weimann and Agbonlahor looking to use their pace against a Hull defence including debutant Michael Dawson. The opener arrived shortly before the quarter-hour mark, Jelavic mis-controlling a pass back into his own half to set up a Villa break. Within seconds the ball was in the net, Charles N’Zogbia finding Weimann, whose deft touch gave Agbonlahor just enough room to turn and shoot low past Allan McGregor from 10 yards. A second almost followed within two minutes, Curtis Davies gifting possession to Agbonlahor, who fizzed a cross into the six-yard box where Dawson made a hurried clearance. Hull briefly threatened a response around the half-hour mark, Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick deflected wide by Weimann before Mark Clattenburg waved away penalty appeals for a Westwood handball. Villa soon regained control, though, aided by some dreadful resistance. They doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Dawson’s loose ball was won by Delph, spread wide to Kieran Richardson and finished in two succinct touches by Weimann. It was a moment to forget for the Hull debutant but another clinical reaction by Villa’s forward line. It might easily have been three before half-time, Agbonlahor denied by McGregor’s feet and Westwood curling a free-kick against the upright with McGregor nowhere. Hull captain Davies did not emerge for the second half, replaced by Liam Rosenior to force a change of shape to four at the back. Ten minutes later, and with no sign of a change in momentum, Steve Bruce made his second change. This time Tom Ince, nearly anonymous in his attempts to link midfield and attack, gave way for Robbie Brady, fresh from two goals against Lokeren on Thursday. Lambert’s first change came soon after, Carlos Sanchez on for N’Zogbia, and if the substitutions were contributing to an increasingly disjointed feeling then it hardly mattered to the side with a two-goal cushion. That almost increased to three when McGregor slipped fielding Dawson’s back pass, but the ball did not fall for the harrying Weimann. Then, against all expectations, Hull instigated a tense finale by grabbing a lifeline 18 minutes from time. The lively Brady was involved, his drifting free-kick headed goalwards by Jelavic only for Cissokho to wrong-foot his own goalkeeper with a huge deflection. In an instant the game had a new spark, Delph bringing the home fans back to their feet with a fine run and shot before Jake Livermore took aim at the other end. His 25-yard strike was destined for the top corner but Brad Guzan made his first save of the match a crucial one. Both sides had chances in injury-time, Darren Bent dragging wide from a good position and Sone Aluko firing directly at Guzan with the visitors’ final chance. Press Associationlast_img read more

Mourners crowd church for Millender-McDonald

first_imgMourners packed Los Angeles’ Second Baptist Church on Monday for the funeral of Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, who was remembered as a strong advocate for her constituents. “You didn’t have to look far to see that her family came first with her,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. “After her family, it was the people of the 37th Congressional District. You were all a great source of pride to her and foremost in her work in the Congress of the United States.” Millender-McDonald was a seven-term incumbent from Carson and the first black woman to chair the House Administration Committee that oversees federal elections and congressional budgets. She died April 22 of cancer. She was 68. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more