QUEENS – On Friday, Melvi Amador-Rios, Santos Amador-Rios, Yan Carlos Ramirez and Antonio Salvador were charged in a four-count indictment with assault, murder conspiracy and attempted murder in-aid-of racketeering, along with a related firearms offense. The defendants were arrested today and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The defendants are members of the La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. Melvi Amador-Rios is the leader of the Centrales Locos Salvatruchas (CLS) clique of MS-13, which operates in Jamaica, Queens. On October 22, 2016, Amador-Rios directed a low-level CLS member, known as a “chequeo,” to obtain a firearm from his brother, Santos Amador-Rios, and use the firearm to murder a rival gang member. The CLS chequeo obtained the firearm and enlisted two other CLS chequeos to assist in the murder. Yan Carlos Ramirez and Antonio Salvador instructed the three CLS chequeos how to use the firearm to carry out the murder. During the early morning hours of October 23, 2016, in Jamaica, Queens, the three CLS chequeos confronted the suspected member of the rival 18th Street gang, beat the victim and shot him in the head. The victim survived the attack, but is now a paraplegic.
The indictment is the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York targeting members of the MS-13, a violent international criminal organization. The MS-13’s leadership is based in El Salvador and Honduras, but the gang has thousands of members across the United States, comprised primarily of immigrants from Central America. Since 2003, hundreds of MS-13 members, including dozens of clique leaders, have been convicted on federal felony charges in the Eastern District of New York. A majority of those MS-13 members have been convicted on federal racketeering charges for participating in murders, attempted murders and assaults. Since 2010, this Office has obtained indictments charging MS-13 members with carrying out more than 45 murders in the district, and has convicted dozens of MS-13 leaders and members in connection with those murders. These prosecutions are the product of investigations led by our law enforcement partners including the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the FBI and NYPD.