NEWS RELEASE

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow
Prosecutor

Contact:
John Holl
(908) 527-4621
jholl@ucnj.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2011

Nearly a Dozen Members of the MS13 Gang are Arrested in Plainfield


Nearly a dozen members of the MS13 street gang were arrested or charged during a number of raids by law enforcement over the last several days, announced Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. The gang members lived and operated in Plainfield and are charged with a variety of crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder.

The arrests began over the holiday weekend and continued through early this morning, said Romankow. This was a joint operation between the Prosecutor’s Office, Plainfield Police Department, UCERT, the FBI and Immigration Customs Enforcement.

“Plainfield has faced violence from gangs for far too long, and it not only impacts the citizens of the city, but everyone in the county and surrounding areas,” said Romankow. “These arrests deliver a significant blow to the MS13 operations but we will not slow our pursuit of others involved in gangs and violence.”

Members of MS13 have been arrested in recent months and charged in at least three homicides that occurred in the city of Plainfield. Several other MS13 members are suspected in at least two other homicides, said Romankow.

Of those charged over the last several days, one remains at large, said Romankow. Kelvin Mejia, DOB: with a last known address in Plainfield is wanted for a variety of charges including conspiracy to commit murder.

Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 cash for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of Kelvin Mejia. Anyone with information can anonymously contact crime stoppers by calling (908) 654-TIPS or by visiting www.uctip.org.

Those arrested over the last several days face a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder. These charges stem from a police investigation that revealed that MS13 members were working towards killing other members inside the gang as well as other individuals, said Romankow

The MS13 members are also charged with gang criminality, a statute that was recently enacted in order to combat the rising ride of criminal activity by gangs, said Romankow. The charge alleged that the members worked together to commit crimes on behalf of the gang.

Two juveniles were arrested as part of the raids and Romankow said the Prosecutor’s Office would move to have them waived to adult court.

A list of the gang members arrested and their charges as well as bail appears below:

1. Jose Garcia aka Chucky aka El Diavolico: DOB: 04-18-1992 Conspiracy to Commit Murder (1st degree), Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree), Conspiracy to Distribute Weapons (4th) degree, Aggravated Assault-pointing a firearm (4th), Aggravated Assault-attempt to cause serious bodily injury (2nd).  Bail $1 million

2. Franklin Mejia aka Frankbo: DOB: 01-28-1991 Conspiracy to Commit Murder (1st degree), Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree), Conspiracy to Distribute Weapons (4th) degree, Possession of Cocaine (3rd), Possession of Cocaine with intent to Distribute (3rd), Possession of shotgun while committing a CDS offense (2nd), Armed Robbery(1st), Possession of Handgun (2nd), Possession of Shotgun (3rd), Possession f Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd).  Bail $1,150,000

3. Kelvin Mejia: DOB 08-29-92 Conspiracy to commit Murder (1st degree), Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree), Conspiracy to Distribute Weapons (4th) degree, Armed Robbery(1st), Possession of Handgun (2nd), Possession of Shotgun (3rd), Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd).  Bail $1 million

4. Esau Ramirez aka “El Panda” dob: 05-04-1991 Conspiracy to commit Murder (1st degree), Conspiracy to Possess Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree), Consp to Distribute Weapons (4th) , Theft by Extortion (2nd), Aggravated Assault-attempt to cause serious bodily injury (2nd).  Bail $1 million

5. Julio Adalberto Orellana aka “Player”: dob: 03-06-1988Conspiracy to commit Murder (1st degree), Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree).  Bail $1 million

6. Ruben Portillo aka “El Sombra”: Armed Robbery(1st), Possession of Handgun (2nd), Possession of Shotgun (3rd), Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd).  Bail $50,000

7. Julian Mas-Aguilar aka “Umilde”: dob: 07-15-1987 Theft by Extortion (2nd).  Bail $30,000

8. Ismael Hernandez-Guzman: DOB: 07-27-1988 Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd), Conspiracy to Distribute Weapons (4th).  Bail $10,000

9. Carlos Ramos aka “Piggy”: dob: 08-28-1989 Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd).  Bail $20,000

10. JUVENILE #1: Armed Robbery(1st), Possession of Handgun (2nd), Possession of Shotgun (3rd), Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (2nd)

11. JUVENILE #2: Aggravated Assault – attempt to cause serious bodily injury (2nd), Unlawful Possession of Weapon – machete (4th), Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose (3rd)

“The assault on our citizens by individuals tied to serious crimes including assault, robbery, weapons possession and drug distribution will not be tolerated,” said Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Newark. “HSI is committed to eradicating this menace from our communities.”

These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.