Gaithersburg Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy

His gun was used in a Frederick homicide.

A Gaithersburg man whose a member of MS 13 pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, and that includes attempted murder. Jaime Ernesto Navarette-Mejia, 35, entered the plea in US District Court in Greenbelt.

In his plea agreement, Navarette-Mejia admitted to he was a member of MS 13’s Normandie clique. He says he and other members committed crimes to further the interests of the gang, including murder, assault, robbery, extortion by threats of violence, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and witness retaliation.

The US Attorney’s Office for Maryland says Navarette-Mejia was involved in an attempted murder outside of a restaurant in Laurel on March 28th, 2014. He fired five shots at another person following an argument inside the establishment. One person suffered serious injuries.

Federal officials say the weapon used in that incident was .380 caliber handgun, and it was the same one used in a November, 2013 murder in Frederick. In that case, Merlin Edjardo Alvarez Garcia was found shot to death in a wooded area of Hillcrest. Federal officials say it was killing ordered by MS 13 when the victim was in El Salvador.

Garcia moved to Frederick in hopes of being safe, but MS 13 gang members in Maryland learned that the “hit” order was still in effect.

Aldair Garcia-Miranda and Raul Ernesto Landaverde-Giron are charged with the murder. Jose Javier Salgado-Machado has also been charged with collaborating with the two in Garcia’s slaying.

Navarette-Mejia has not been charged in that fatal shooting.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on October 28th, and could receive life in prison, according to federal officials.