A federal judge today sentenced Chelsea MS-13 member Hector "Vida Loca" Enamorado to life in prison for murdering a member of a rival gang and nearly killing an innocent bystander.
Enamorado's life sentence contrasts to the 35-year sentence another MS-13 member got just yesterday for an even more brutal murder - in which a 15-year old was butchered on Constitution Beach.
One difference: Rather than pleading guilty, like most of the 49 local MS-13 members who have been sentenced following 2016 raids, Enamorado, a Honduran national, decided to go before a jury. In April, the US Attorney's office reports, a federal jury convicted Enamorado of murder as part of a racketeering conspiracy.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors say the immediate reason for Enamorado to pump three bullets into Javier Ortiz, a member of the rival 18th Street Gang on Dec. 14, 2014,, was because the night before, Ortiz had punched Enamorado in the eye and put out a cigarette on his arm. Both the fight and the murder occurred in an apartment that doubled as an after-hours club at 60 Chester Ave. in Chelsea. An innocent bystander received a fourth bullet to the chest; he survived, but the bullet remains in his chest to this day, prosecutors wrote.
But Enamorado, 39, they continued, was itching to gun somebody down anyway, to try to restore some luster to his Chelsea Locos Salvatrucha MS-13 "clique," whose ranks had been decimated by arrests and deportation.
The murder of Ortiz, a rival gang member, bears all of the hallmarks of an MS-13 gang hit: Enamorado engaged in a fight with Ortiz because he was an 18th Street gang member; Enamorado enlisted the support of MS-13 members to obtain a gun and secure back-up for his planned killing; and after he murdered Ortiz and shot Rivera, Enamorado relied on MS-13 members to help him escape and demanded that MS-13 enforce its rules by punishing the member who failed to step up and defend him. In every respect, Enamorado embodied the violent ethos of MS-13, and a life sentence is a just and appropriate punishment for the brutal crimes he committed.
Enamorado's attorney argued for a sentence of no more than 20 years, in part because Enamorado was not fully cognizant of what he was doing the night of the murder because he was either drunk or high, and because the jury was told to consider second-degree, rather than first-degree murder.
Two other MS-13 members were also convicted in the trial. Noe Salvador "Crazy" Perez Vasquez, also received a life sentence for both Ortiz's murder and for another murder in Lowell. Luis "Brujo" Solis Vasquez, faces sentencing on Oct. 17, 2018, the US Attorney's office reports.
Enamorado was one of 61 people arrested in raids aimed at MS-13 in 2016 - 49 of whom have since either pleaded or been found guilty.