MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced For Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Several Murders In The Region

One took place in Frederick County.

Baltimore, Md. (KM) – An MS13 gang member was sentenced on Friday in US District Court in Baltimore for his participation in two murders in the region, including one in Frederick County. Oscar Armando Sorto Romero, 23, also know as “Lobo,” was given life in prison for racketeering conspiracy and racketeering as well as related violent crimes in the aid of racketeering.

He and three other men who are also members of M\S 13, were convicted on January 24th, 2022, of similar  offenses following a three-month trial. . They are identified as Jose Joya Parada, also known as “Calmado,”, 21, Milton Portillo-Rodriguez, also known as “Little Gangster,” 26, and Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, also known as “Picaro,” 24. Portillo-Rodriguez and Sandoval-Rodriguez were also convicted of multiple counts of murder in the aid of racketeering.

The US Attorney’s Office for Maryland says Sorto Romero took part in a murder where the gang kidnapped an individual from Silver Spring on April 3rd, 2017 , and brought him to a wooded area in the Frederick Watershed where he was killed. Prosecutors say Joya Parada participated in the murder by hitting the victim  in the head with a tree branch to incapacitate    him. He and others dragged the victim across the ground into the woods  where a  hole that was dug for the grave. Joya Parada slashed the victim with a machete and plunged it  into the victim’s back several times. The victim died at the scene due to blunt force trauma, stabbing, cutting and chopping inflicted by Joya Parada and his co-conspirators.

His body was buried in a grave. The victim’s remains were found in June of that year.

Prosecutors say Sorto Romero arranged for the transportation to the scene, and drove the other suspects home following the murder.

The US Attorney’s Office says evidence presented at the trial say this and other murders were intended to maintain and increase the status of MS 13, and allow members to also maintain or increase their status in the gang.

These four members engaged in drug trafficking, extortion and brutal acts of violence against suspected rivals in order to maintain and increase MS 13’s power in Frederick, Montgomery and Anne Arundel Counties in Maryland federal officials say.

Anyone who has information about MS 13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement.  The FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security have nationwide tip lines  for citizens to call and relate what they know.  You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

By Kevin McManus