Two known members of the Mara Salvatrucha 13, or MS-13, street gang in the Atlanta, Georgia, are going to prison for committing crimes of violence on behalf of the gang.
Emmanual Hidalgo, a/k/a “Scooby,” 25, of Chamblee, Georgia, admitted using a firearm in a crime of violence in August 2013 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Edwin Menjivar, a/k/a “Vago” and “Chilly Willy,” 33, of Norcross, Georgia, pleaded guilty to a violence and racketeering in June 2013 and got 11 years in prison.
MS-13 is an international criminal organization that originated in Central America. By 2005, the gang had penetrated the Atlanta-area, including bases in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties, which they defended actively. Members of MS-13 attacked rival gang members and robbed civilians and area businesses.
Hidalgo and other gang members planned to rob a drug dealer at a hotel in DeKalb County in April 2007. During the robbery, Hidalgo and others killed the dealer in a shootout. Hotel surveillance video showed one of the MS-13 members picking up the victim’s gun, which he later showed off as a trophy.
Menjivar was the driver in an October 2007 drive-by shooting. He and another gang member drove to an apartment complex in Gwinnett County where members of the rival “SUR-13” gang lived. As Menjivar drove, his companion fired from the car, hitting one man in the neck as he stood outside his apartment. Police later recovered the firearm used in the shooting from under Menjivar’s bedroom mattress.
In other gang activity:
- In Orlando, Florida, a jury found Xavier Francisco Villanueva, a/k/a “X,” Jose Carmona, a/k/a “Hood” and Ashley Nicole Barnett, a/k/a “Snow” guilty of sex trafficking of a minor. They each face up to life in prison. According to evidence, the three individuals, part of the Nine Trey Billy Bad Ass gang, which is affiliated with the Bloods street gang, used drugs, physical restraint and threats to force a 14-year-old girl into prostitution for their own financial gain.
- Eric Eugene Brice, a/k/a “Bug,” 42, was sentenced in Charlotte, North Carolina, to 77 months in prison for possession of an illegal firearm, a Maverick 99 pistol-grip shotgun. He pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2014. Brice is the final defendant to be sentenced in connection with the 28 “United Blood Nation” gang members indicted in 2012 on racketeering and related charges.