Senior MS-13 Gang Leader Captured, Arrested

Freddy Ivan Jandres-Parada
Freddy Ivan Jandres-Parada | Image by FBI

One of MS-13’s highly sought-after leaders was captured earlier this month after being on the run for more than three years.

Freddy Ivan Jandres-Parada, 48, one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, was captured at the California-Mexico border, according to the New York Post. The FBI had advertised a $10,000 reward for information leading to Jandres-Parada’s arrest.

He waived his right to bail the next day, according to his detention order. He is currently being held at MCC San Diego, an administrative security metropolitan correctional center, while he awaits transfer to a federal facility in New York.

He went on the run after he and 13 other MS-13 leaders were indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in December 2020, according to a January 2021 press release from the Attorney’s Office. Jandres-Parada is allegedly part of the “Ranfla,” a name given to the leadership hierarchy of the gang.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism, and narco-terrorism conspiracy in connection with the defendants’ leadership of the transnational criminal organization over the past two decades from El Salvador, the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere.

MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13) is a gang that was formed by Salvadoran migrants who came to the United States to escape El Salvador’s civil war, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.

The gang is well-organized and is heavily involved in lucrative illegal enterprises, being notorious for its use of violence to achieve its objectives. Fear and intimidation are used in extorting payments from any legitimate or illegitimate business owners for the right to conduct their business in MS-13 territory. The group has been involved with rapes and witness intimidation, numerous transnational crimes, weapon smuggling, illegal firearm sales, human smuggling, stealing, and selling drugs in the illegal market, and is believed to be a major retail distributor of drugs in Houston.

Drug-related criminal activity has also been a big problem in Dallas, where drug offenses are currently on the rise amid a longstanding officer shortage, according to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard.

“MS-13 is responsible for a wave of death and violence that has terrorized communities, leaving neighborhoods on Long Island and throughout the Eastern District of New York awash in bloodshed,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme in the January 2021 press release.

“Even when incarcerated, the Ranfla Nacional continued to direct MS-13’s global operations, recruit new members, including children, into MS-13, and orchestrate murder and mayhem around the world. Today’s ground-breaking indictment seeks to demolish MS-13 by targeting its command and control structure and holding MS-13’s Board of Directors accountable for their terroristic actions.”

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