A federal judge has sentenced a leader and a member of the MS-13 Eastside Loco Salvatrucha sub-gang to prison sentences in recent days, in part for their roles of encouraging the murder of a 15-year-old in East Boston in 2015.
Edwin "Playa" Guzman, 32, a leader of the sub-gang, or "clique" (left in photo), will spend 16 years in federal prison on a RICO charge, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports. Erick "Lobo" Argueta Larios, 33, received a 15-year sentence, the US Attorney's office reports.
Both participated in a "beat in," a 13-second beating of an MS-13 member to welcome him to full gang membership, of Julio "Animal" Martinez, after Martinez fatally stabbed Irvin de Paz on Trenton Street in East Boston on Sept. 20, 2015. Martinez got 40 years for the murder. MS-13 members move up in the ranks by murdering members of rival gangs; Martinez believed the teen to be a member of the rival 18th Street Gang.
A federal jury convicted the pair in February. Last month, Judge F. Dennis Saylor, who has been presiding over a wave of MS-13 cases in Boston, sentenced another Eastside leader, Herzzon "Casper" Sandoval, to 20 years in prison for his role in encouraging de Paz's murder.
According to a sentencing memorandum by prosecutors, Guzman himself once "chased down, beat, and attacked a rival gang member with a beer bottle, smashing it into his facing and leaving him in a bloody heap on a sidewalk." He also helped hide Martinez after de Paz's murder, collected dues from gang members and helped bring deported members back into the US.
Larios, a Salvadoran national who faces deportation after his sentence, participated in both Martinez's beat in and that of another member who received the beating not as part of a promotion but as a punishment for missing gang meetings, according to a separate sentencing memo by prosecutors.
Larios also helped guard an 11-pound shipment of cocaine, regularly carried the official clique gun in case of attack by rival gangs and sought permission to murder an MS-13 member suspected of cooperating with the feds, the memo says:
He was an active, mature, and respected member of MS-13 who has neither shown remorse nor accepted responsibility for the violence that he and his fellow gang members inflicted on others in furtherance of the MS-13 mission.
Larios and Guzman are among the 61 people rounded up in in raids against Boston-area MS-13 members in 2016. Most have since pleaded or been found guilty of various charges under the federal RICO statute.