An MS-13 member who emptied his gun into a suspected member of a rival gang member laying on the ground after another MS-13 member tried to eviscerate him with a butcher knife was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.
David "Cilindro" Lopez had pleaded guilty in November to his role in the murder attempt and to his return to Massachusetts after he fled to New Jersey to try to kill an MS-13 member suspected of talking to the feds - who upon learning of his impending attack, immediately relocated him under the witness-protection program.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed by the US Attorney's office in the case, the victim of the 2014 attack in Chelsea survived only due to the skill of a trauma surgeon at Mass. General, who resuscitated a man who had no blood left in his body by the time he got to him in the emergency room.
Under the rules of MS-13, it was important to Lopez, a Salvadoran national living in Chelsea, to ensure the victim's death to win a promotion in the gang's Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha "clique."
In the memorandum, prosecutors say they suspect Lopez has actually killed before, based on some of the things he said in conversations captured by FBI agents whose work led to the indictments of 61 suspected local MS-13 members in 2016:
You just cut the jugular with the knife there, nice and easy, just like with a hen when you search under the feathers so that you feel the pulse, like that, you feel the son of a bitch like that until you feel the vein and that’s where you jab the knife in. And with just a little - a little bit like that, [whistles], it goes in.
Because of his past and statements, prosecutors wrote they were unwilling to give Lopez a "discount" for pleading guilty; they even rejected shaving just five months off his proposed sentence. US District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor, who has been overseeing the local MS-13 cases, agreed with the recommendation for 20 years.