Friday, 8 May 2009

Threats by two suspected members of the MS-13 gang to kill a Baltimore police officer

Baltimore homicide detectives are investigating threats by two suspected members of the MS-13 gang to kill a Baltimore police officer, the alleged gang members threatened to kill an unidentified police officer during questioning at Southeast District headquarters.The suspects had been arrested on gun possession charges.The officer reported that the suspects – whom police believe have ties to the violent MS-13 gang – said they had killed a police officer in El Salvador and only got two years in prison, according to a report filed by the officer.Then, the officer alleges, the suspects threatened to kill him.
“We’ll do the same to you,” the report states.The threats were made during an investigation of activities of the gang in the Southeast police district that includes parts of Fells Point, home to the city’s 5,000-member Hispanic community.The officer who was threatened is Hispanic, and was translating questions posed to suspected gang members after their arrests. The officer noted in his report the violent history of the gang, which often target family members.The threats were made directly to the police officer during an investigation and were considered credible enough to warrant a full investigation by the city’s homicide division, a source from the Southeast district said.MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a gang with Salvadorian roots that has been gaining growing influence in the Baltimore/Washington area, according to federal prosecutors.Last week, Victor Ramirez, aka "Mousey," 30, a resident of Hyattsville who was born in El Salvador, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in three murders and a string of violent crimes including armed robbery."The evidence proved that MS-13 sent Victor Ramirez to Maryland from El Salvador as part of a plan to strengthen the MS-13 gang and expand the gang’s criminal activity," U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said after Ramirez was sentenced.Along with MS-13, the recent high-profile murder case involving eight alleged members of the city’s Bounty Hunters gang, a violent drug organization with ties to the Bloods, also has garnered headlines. Eight suspected members, incuding a 16-year-old female, have been charged with first-degree murder.Police allege that eight gang members beat 20-year-old Petro Taylor unconscious at a Baltimore motel last December then drove him to a secluded area of Leakin Park,where they stabbed him more than 30 times before dousing him with gasoline and setting him on fire. The state medical examiner’s office determined Taylor was burned alive.Last week a series of violent incidents at the city’s Inner Harbor area – including two stabbings – raised the specter of a growing gang presence at Baltimore’s most popular tourist destination. The violence including the vicious beating of a Michigan teen who was pummeled on Pratt Street by a group of young men wearing bandannas.

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