Plainfield-based gang allegedly supported the enterprise with murder, extortion, plots to kill witnesses and a law enforcement officer

NEWARK – Three former leaders of a New Jersey branch of the violent international street gang “La Mara Salvatrucha” – including its founding member – are charged with racketeering and murder in an indictment that also charges 11 other alleged members of the gang with related crimes, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced yesterday.

Santos Reyes-Villatoro, a/k/a “Mousey,” allegedly founded the “Plainfield Locos Salvatruchas” – a subset, or “clique” – of La Mara Salvatrucha in the 1990s and served as its leader until his arrest in 2009 for attempted murder. Also known as MS-13, La Mara Salvatrucha is composed largely of Salvadorans and Salvadoran immigrants. Two other former leaders of the local PLS clique, Mario Oliva, a/k/a “Zorro,” and Roberto Contreras, a/k/a “Demonio,” are also charged in a 26-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury.

In all, the indictment charges 14 alleged members of the gang with racketeering conspiracy and a host of other violent crimes.