ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A 23-year-old Maryland man has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for his role in a violent street gang prosecutors said preyed on the Hispanic community in Annapolis over a two-year period.
The Capital Gazette reports that Moises Alexis Reyes-Canales, also known as “Sicopita,” was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court. He pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise as part of MS-13 gang activities.
Reyes-Canales admitted that he participated in the murder of a suspected rival gang member and conspired and attempted to murder two victims in Annapolis, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He admitted being a member of MS-13 since March 11, 2016 and participated as a member in a racketeering conspiracy that included assaults, murder, attempted murder, robbery, and drug trafficking.
With roots in that Latin American country, the gang is a crime organization known to focus on communities where immigrants from Latin America and South America live. Annapolis has a thriving Hispanic/Latino community, with a large portion of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Reyes-Canales admitted that on March 11, 2016, he and other MS-13 members and associates agreed to murder a man police later identified as Jose Hernandez-Portillo, whom the gang suspected of being a rival gang member. Reyes-Canales received authorization to commit the murder from MS-13 leadership prior to the stabbing and directed others during the attack at Quiet Waters Park. Police didn’t find his body until Aug. 28, 2017.