DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An MS-13 gang member has been sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison for his role in “brutal” machete attacks in the Dallas area in 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Arnold Stephen Miralda-Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in February to racketeer influenced and corrupt organization activities. He received 210-month sentence for his part in a case involving six other convicted gang members.
“MS-13 is one of the most vicious gangs operating in America today,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “When machete-wielding gang members terrorize our streets, they will be met with certain justice. The Northern District of Texas thanks our law enforcement partners, led by Homeland Security Investigations, who worked tirelessly to take seven brutal men out of our community.”
According to court documents, Miralda-Cruz and other gang members ambushed a rival gang member and his roommate at an apartment complex in Dallas on July 14, 2017. Miralda-Cruz and the others stabbed and cut the two victims with machetes and knives, leaving them seriously injured.
The next day, Miralda-Cruz and two other gang members attacked a man outside his home in Irving, according to court documents. The victim, a drug dealer, was forced to kneel and was then struck by a machete as the three demanded he pay an extortion fee.
The six other MS-13 gang members were linked to other attacks throughout the area from Aug. 9, 2017 to Sept. 25, 2017 as they left their victims with serious injuries. Officials said all seven gang members were El Salvadorian and Honduran nationals and were in the U.S. illegally. They have been convicted and sentenced for their crimes.
“With this sentencing, seven MS-13 gang members responsible for multiple brutal attacks in the Dallas area have now been brought to justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt. “The Department of Justice will not waver in its commitment to dismantle and destroy the scourge of MS-13.”