A federal grand jury in Nashville late last month returned a 16-count superseding indictment charging seven MS-13 gang members with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, along with serious firearm-related offenses.
This, according to a press release that Davidson County officials published on their website.
Those charged are Carlos Ochoa-Martinez, 31; Jason Sandoval, 35; Jorge Flores, 28; all of Nashville.
Authorities also charged Jose Pineda-Caceres, 22, and Franklin Hernandez, 21, both of Honduras; Gerson Serrano-Ramirez, 33, of El Salvador; and Juan Melendez, 25, of Lebanon.
“The indictment alleges that beginning in 2014 and continuing until yesterday, the defendants conspired with each other to obtain bulk quantities of marijuana and cocaine for redistribution in and around Middle Tennessee. Once the drugs were received, the defendants would reduce them into smaller quantities and sell them in and around nightclubs in Nashville, and from the parking lots and restrooms of these establishments,” according to the press release.
“In order to maximize drug distribution in these nightclubs, the defendants would threaten rival and competing drug dealers who sold and attempted to sell cocaine and marijuana in the nightclubs. The indictment further alleges that, in order to protect their drugs, territory and proceeds, the defendants would acquire, carry and discharge firearms, and to maintain and extend control over their drug distribution they would commit acts involving murder, intimidation and assault against individuals who jeopardized their operations, including rival drug dealers.”
The defendants, if convicted, face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison up to 40 years.
As reported last month, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee unsealed a complaint charging the leader of an MS-13 Gang with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
As The Tennessee Star reported last year, authorities arrested an alleged MS-13 member and illegal immigrant for allegedly kidnapping and beating a local high school student.
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