High-ranking MS-13 leader captured on terrorism and racketeering charges

April 24, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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A high-ranking leader of the notorious MS-13 gang, Jose Wilfredo Ayala-Alcantara, also known as “Indio de Hollywood,” was arrested on Thursday on terrorism and racketeering charges after being on the run for years.

Ayala-Alcantara was apprehended by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.

The arrest followed a coordinated effort by Mexican authorities who located Ayala-Alcantara and determined he was an El Salvadoran citizen without valid status in Mexico. He was expelled from Mexico to El Salvador but arrested while transiting through the United States. Ayala-Alcantara is charged with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to provide or conceal material support to terrorists, and narco-terrorism conspiracy.

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Ayala-Alcantara was a founding member of the MS-13 Hollywood Clique in Los Angeles and later rose to become one of the criminal organization’s highest-ranking leaders, prosecutors claim. He is accused of directing the gang’s vicious activities in the United States, El Salvador, Mexico, and elsewhere over the past two decades.

Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the EDNY, has been leading the effort, working closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and HSI, to bring Ayala-Alcantara and other high-ranking MS-13 leaders to justice. The EDNY has a long history of prosecuting MS-13 members and associates for their criminal activities.

“Jose Wilfredo Ayala-Alcantara’s abominable MS-13 career has come full circle — having joined the transnational gang when he lived in the United States, he was deported to El Salvador where he ascended to a leadership position, he is returning to face justice in the Eastern District of New York where MS-13 has wrought so much violence in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

If convicted, Ayala-Alcantara faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Donnelly, Matthew Shepherd, and Stewart Young from the Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV), with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Scotti, Justina Geraci, and Megan Farrell from the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.

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