An MS-13 member who goes by the gang name “Animal” received a 40-year prison sentence this week for a conspiracy that included the murder of a 15-year-old boy, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said Tuesday.
The nickname, which the prosecutors highlighted in the headline of a press release, is particularly telling, coming just a week after President Trump called members of the violent, immigrant-fueled MS-13 gang “animals.”
Joel Martinez, 23, admitted he murdered the 15-year-old as part of his initiation as a “homeboy” in Mara Salvatrucha, the gang’s full name.
“I stabbed the culero three times,” Mr. Martinez said, according to prosecutors. “He stared at me and he asked me if I was going to, if I was going to stab him. I told him, ‘Yes, the Mara rules you.’”
Culero is a derogatory MS-13 members use for a rival gang. Killing a rival gang member was a requirement for achieving full status in MS-13 in Massachusetts, the FBI says.
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