MS-13 'Animal' Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison
MASSACHUSETTS — May 24, 2018
A member of the notorious MS-13 gang, Joel Martinez will be deported back to El Salvador once he’s released from federal prison.
23-year-old Martinez pleaded guilty in December to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and admitted to stabbing 15-year-old Irvin Javier de Paz Castro to death on Sept. 20, 2015, in East Boston.
"I stabbed the culero three times," said Martinez in a recording, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, "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.'"
MS-13 has a long-form name, which is Mara Salvatrucha. Prosecutors said that after the 2015 murder, “Animal” was “jumped in” and made a “homeboy,” or full member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique in East Boston.
Agents recorded the ceremony. While one of the leaders of the clique counts aloud slowly to thirteen, other members of MS-13 beat a new member with their hands and feet, according to prosecutors.
Peter L. Ettenberg, Martinez’s lawyer, said that his client was forced to join the gang under duress, so he requested his client receive only 30 years in prison, according to the Boston Globe.
“In order to survive within MS-13 it is vital to brag and puff oneself up,” the lawyer wrote. “Many of the other defendants did the same. The defendant’s ‘braggadocio’ is just that. ... It is counsel’s belief that Joel Martinez was the sacrifice to the threats of MS-13 towards his family that compelled him to join. If he did not join, family members would be killed.”