NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned a 16-count superseding indictment charging seven MS-13 Gang members with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, on top of other gun-related charges.
Charges have been filed against 31-year-old Carlos Ochoa-Martinez, 35-year-old Jason Sandoval, and 28-year-old Jorge Flores from Nashville; 25-year-old Juan Melendez from Lebanon; 22-year-old Jose Pineda-Caceres and 21-year-old Franklin Hernandez from Honduras; and 33-year-old Gerson Serrano-Ramirez from El Salvador.
The indictment accuses the seven men of conspiring together to obtain bulk quantities of drugs for redistribution around Middle Tennessee. Police claim those drugs would be broken up into smaller quantities and sold in and around Nashville nightclubs. The indictment claims the gang members would threaten other rival drug dealers against selling drugs in those nightclubs. The distribution and conspiracy began in 2014 and lasted through Wednesday.
According to the indictment, the gang members would carry and discharge firearms to protect their distribution and committed crimes including murder, intimidation, and assaulting people who jeopardized their operations.
All seven gang members are in custody and will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at a later date. If convicted, they could face between five and 40 years in prison.