High-Ranking MS-13 Leader Arraigned on Terrorism Indictment

Defendant Directed MS-13's Transnational Criminal Operations and Coordinated Criminal Activity in the United States

 

Last week, Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada, also known as "Lucky de Park View" and "Lacky de Park View," a high-ranking leader of La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, was arraigned at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York by United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione. Jandres-Parada and 13 other high-ranking MS-13 leaders were indicted in December 2020 on terrorism offenses relating to their direction of the transnational criminal organization's criminal activities in the United States, El Salvador, Mexico and elsewhere over the past two decades. Specifically, Jandres-Parada is charged with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism and narco-terrorism conspiracy. For more than three years, Jandres-Parada was a fugitive, but he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) earlier this month and made an initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of California, where he was ordered to be transferred in custody to the Eastern District of New York.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY); Mehtab Syed, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office; and Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent-in-Charge, HSI's New York Field Office announced Jandres-Parada's arrest and arraignment.

"As alleged, Jandres-Parada, a high-ranking leader in MS-13, engaged in drug trafficking, public and private displays of violence, and terrorism - all in pursuit of power for the organization," said United States Attorney Peace. "This arrest is a monumental achievement for our Office and international partners, highlighting our dedication to dismantling MS-13 and their reign of terror wherever they hide."

Mr. Peace expressed his thanks to the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office and Criminal Investigative Division's Safe Streets Gang Unit, and HSI's National Gangs and Violent Crime Unit and New York Field Office for spearheading the MS-13 leadership investigations. Additionally, he thanked the FBI Legal Attachés in Mexico City and San Salvador, FBI and HSI's San Diego Field Offices, HSI Attaché Mexico City and Assistant Attaché Tijuana, USMS Legal Attaché in Mexico City and the United States Customs and Border Protection Officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry for the critical support provided in connection with the arrest, and the U.S. Attorney's Office and the United States Marshals Service for the Southern District of California for coordinating the defendant's initial appearance in San Diego. Mr. Peace also thanked the numerous Department of Justice components that contributed to this indictment, including the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Executive Office.

The arrest of Jandres Parada demonstrates the FBI's commitment to protecting the American public by proactively targeting MS-13's highest ranking leaders in order to dismantle this transnational criminal organization, which is among the most violent in the world," said Mehtab Syed, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. "This collaborative effort among many agencies spanned coast to coast and led to this successful capture."

"Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada, (a/k/a "Lucky") has been a fugitive on HSI's Most Wanted list since 2021. As one of the founding members of the MS-13 street gang, Jandres-Parada is alleged to be responsible for ordering acts of violence against gang rivals, law enforcement, and civilians alike. However, Jandres-Parada's reign of violence came to an end when he was arrested in a joint operation by HSI and FBI," said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. "With the apprehension of one of HSI's most wanted, I commend HSI New York, our Long Island Division, and our law enforcement partners for their steadfast commitment and resolve to securing justice for the countless victims whom have been impacted by MS-13's violence."

As set forth in the indictment and related court filings, Jandres-Parada and his co-defendants are part of MS-13's command and control structure, consisting of the Ranfla Nacional, Ranfla en Las Calles, and Ranfla en Los Penales. They play significant leadership roles in the organization's operations in El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, and throughout the world. In total, 27 of the highest-ranking leaders of MS-13 have been charged in the Eastern District of New York in this indictment and the related indictment of United States v. Arevalo-Chavez, et al.

As further alleged, in approximately 2002, Jandres-Parada, his co-defendants, and other MS-13 leaders began establishing a highly-organized, hierarchical command and control structure as a means to effectuate their decisions and enforce their orders, even while in prison. They directed acts of violence and murder in El Salvador, the United States and elsewhere, established military-style training camps for MS-13 members and obtained military weapons such as rifles, handguns, grenades, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rocket launchers. Further, beginning in approximately 2012, Jandres-Parada and other members of the Ranfla Nacional negotiated with officials from the government of El Salvador (GOES) to obtain benefits and concessions from the government. In order to extort those benefits and concessions, MS-13 engaged in public displays of violence to threaten and intimidate civilian populations, target GOES law enforcement and military officials, and manipulate the electoral process in El Salvador.

Additionally, as alleged, the Ranfla Nacional directed the expansion of MS-13 activities around the world, including the United States and Mexico, where Jandres-Parada and other high-ranking leaders were sent to organize operations, make connections to obtain narcotics and firearms from Mexican drug cartels such as the Zetas, Gulf Cartel, Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and Sinaloa Cartel, and engage in human trafficking and smuggling. The Ranfla Nacional also directed MS-13's large membership in the United States to engage in criminal activities, such as drug trafficking and extortion to raise money to support MS-13's terrorist activities in El Salvador and elsewhere. Jandres-Parada, who previously resided in the Los Angeles area before being deported to El Salvador, played a key role coordinating communication and criminal activity between the Ranfla Nacional and MS-13 leaders in the United States, Mexico and elsewhere.

Finally, the Ranfla Nacional and MS-13's transnational leadership structure is alleged to have directed members in the United States to commit acts of violence to further its goals and implement rules enabling MS-13 to entrench itself in parts of the United States, including within the Eastern District of New York where, under the defendants' leadership and rules, MS-13 has committed murders, attempted murders, assaults, kidnappings, drug trafficking, extortion of individuals and businesses, and obstruction of justice, and has sent dues and the proceeds of criminal activity by wire transfer to MS-13 leaders in El Salvador. For example, this Office's Long Island Criminal Division has prosecuted hundreds of MS-13 leaders, members and associates for carrying out more than 70 murders in the Eastern District of New York between 2009 and the present.

One of Jandres-Parada's co-defendants, Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios, also known as "El Grenas de Stoners" and "Oso de Stoners," and two related defendants from the Arevalo-Chavez indictment, Jorge Alexander De La Cruz, also known as "Cruger de Peatonales," and Francisco Javier Roman-Bardales, also known as "Veterano de Tribus," remain at large. Members of the public with information concerning their whereabouts are strongly encouraged to contact the FBI's toll-free MS-13 tip line, 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or HSI's tip line at (866) 347-2423 or https://www.ice.gov/webform/ice-tip-form. Together, FBI and HSI have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the fugitives.

These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted, Jandres-Parada faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

This case was brought by Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV), which was created to combat MS-13, led by Assistant United States Attorney John J. Durham of the EDNY, and comprised of U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country, including the District of New Jersey; the Northern District of Ohio; the District of Utah; the District of Massachusetts; the Eastern District of Texas; the Southern District of New York; the Southern District of Florida; the Eastern District of Virginia; the Southern District of California; the District of Nevada; the District of Alaska; and the District of Columbia, as well as the Department of Justice's National Security Division and the Criminal Division. Additionally, the FBI; HSI; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the USMS; the U.S. Bureau of Prisons; and the United States Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General have been essential law enforcement partners and spearheaded JTFV's investigations.

The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John J. Durham, Paul G. Scotti, Justina L. Geraci, and Megan E. Farrell from the Office's Long Island Criminal Division.

 

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