Greenbelt, Maryland – On April 25, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted two alleged MS-13 members, Jairo Arnaldo Jacome, a/k/a “Abuelo,” age 36, and Gerdandino Delgado-Escobar, a/k/a “Pumba,” age 23, both of Hyattsville, Maryland, with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division John P. Cronan; Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; Chief Douglas Holland of the Hyattsville Police Department; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to the indictment, MS-13 is an international criminal enterprise that is active throughout the United States. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including in Prince George’s County, Maryland, MS-13 generates income from various sources, including the extortion of sums of money from persons who engage in business activities such as controlled substance sales, illegal brothels, and unlicensed “stores” where items such as food, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes are sold, as well as legitimate businesses including food and beverage sales or distributors. Members of the gang often refer to these extortion payments as “rent.”
Beginning at least in or around March 2013 and continuing through April 2018, Jacome is alleged to have threatened business owners from whom he demanded “rent” payments. According to the indictment, in or around 2015, Jacome allegedly threatened one extortion victim with a gun, grabbed the victim by the neck and hit the victim, telling the victim that Jacome was a member of the “Mara” and that the victim was required to pay “rent” to Jacome for his business or else Jacome would send people to kill the victim’s family. The indictment further alleges that Delgado-Escobar allegedly took extortion payments on behalf of Jacome and the Langley Park Salvatuchros (“LPS”) clique of MS-13.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. Both defendants are in custody. Jacome was ordered detained pending trial following a detention hearing today.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI Washington Field Office, HSI Baltimore, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Hyattsville Police Department, and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. United States Attorney Robert K. Hur thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau and Daniel C. Gardner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting this case.