A federal jury found a Hyattsville man guilty of participating in an MS-13 extortion scheme that collected money from Langley Park brothels, drug dealers and unlicensed businesses that sold alcohol and cigarettes, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
Late Thursday, the jury found Gerdandino Delgado-Escobar, 24, guilty of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
Prosecutors said Delgado-Escobar is a member and associate of the Langley Park Salvatrucha clique of MS-13, an international criminal gang that was founded in Los Angeles, and had worked with other members to extract weekly extortion payments since 2013. The payouts were described as “rent” for operating in areas controlled by the gang, prosecutors said.
The extortion rates ran from $40 to $50 charged to beer delivery businesses to $150 weekly for brothel owners, prosecutors said.
The statement said that evidence showed the group used force and threats to collect the payments, including testimony from one victim that a gun had been pointed at his head and his family was threatened.
Officials said Delgado-Escobar will be held until sentencing, the date of which has not yet been determined.