The MS-13 gangster who admitted to shooting one of our sources in the head — and fatally shooting one of his friends — was formally indicted today by a federal grand jury. Additionally, Carlos “Silencio” Ortega, 22, was indicted in the machete-to-the-face murder of a fellow MS-13 gangster who refused to “put in work” for the gang by murdering a rival gangster.
In all, Ortega was hit with 12 counts (racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and related conspiracy and firearms counts) for the February 17, 2010, murder of David Sandler and attempted murder of our source — who wished to not be identified. The charges also include the murder of Ortega’s fellow gangster Mario Alberto Canton Quijada, about a month later on March 17, 2010. As we mentioned, Ortega admitted to hacking Quijada to death with a machete.
According to a 14-page federal indictment, provided to the Voice by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Silencio” and other MS-13 gangsters, including Jimmy Sosa, who has the less-impressive gang name of “Junior,” agreed to “put in work” for the gang on February 17, 2010, by murdering a member of a rival gang.
The gangsters cruised around Brentwood in a Ford Explorer that night looking for rival gangsters to kill, which is when they found Sandler — who they believed to be a member of the Latin Kings, a rival street gang — at a deli near Timberline Drive and Second Avenue (Sandler’s friend — who also was shot in the head that night — disputes that he and Sandler were gang members. He admits that he and Sandler sold weed, but says MS-13’s beef with Sandler was over a girl, not over gang affiliations. Get the full story here).
According to the indictment, the MS-13 members knew that Sandler and our source sold weed, so they devised a plan to arrange a drug deal and then kill them when they showed up with the marijuana.
Sosa approached Sandler and asked if he could buy some weed. The two men exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet later to make the deal.
Shortly after, Sandler told the gangsters that he had the weed, and they could meet him back at the deli to pick it up. “Silencio” and Sosa told him they’d rather meet somewhere more isolated, but Sandler insisted they meet at the deli.
“We were already feelin’ iffy about it. We didn’t want to go. But [Sandler] got them to meet us at the deli,” our source says later.
When the gangsters showed up, Sandler was there with our source. “Silencio,” who previously had agreed to kill Sandler, approached the two men with Sosa. When Sosa handed Sandler the money, “Silencio” started shooting, hitting Sandler in the head and hand. Our source also suffered a gunshot wound to the head, but survived. He credits Sandler with saving his life that night.
Sosa and another alleged MS-13 gangster were arrested shortly after the shooting. “Silencio” got away.
The indictment also alleges that “Silencio” was involved in the murder of Quijada, an MS-13 member who refused to carry out the murder of a rival gangster.
According to the indictment, on March 17, 2010, Quijada was given a final chance by MS-13 leadership to kill the rival gang member. He refused, which, it turns out, is a mistake in the world of violent street gangs.
MS-13 leadership held a meeting that night to determine how they should deal with Quijada’s refusal to follow orders. Their conclusion: he obviously had to die.
Early the next morning, a group of MS-13 gangsters — including our boy “Silencio” — lured Quijada to a beach in Far Rockaway, where one of the gangsters attempted to shoot him in the head. However, the gun jammed, so “Silencio” hacked him up with a machete and then took turns stabbing him with the other gangsters.
One of the blows from the machete, the complaint notes, “penetrated deep into Quijada’s skull, through his eye-socket, which resulted in the machete becoming lodged in the skull.”
Last month, members of a federal task force located “Silencio” and took him into custody. Following his arrest, “Silencio” admitted to being associated with MS-13 and to murdering Sandler and Quijada.
“Silencio” is an illegal immigrant originally from El Salvador.