The local leader MS-13 gang in Columbus pleaded guilty on Monday to murder and racketeering.
Martin Neftali Aguilar-Rivera agreed to a plea deal in which he admitted to being part of five homicides, drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman says putting Aguilar-Rivera behind bars is a significant step towards dismantling the multinational El Salvadoran gang.
“I think it’s a major blow against MS-13 internationally, and I think that it enables us to say here locally that MS-13’s organization in the Midwest has been dismantled," Glassman says.
The U.S. attorney’s office also filed plea agreements for three other defendants, including another leader who Glassman says was a particularly violent enforcer.
Aguilar-Rivera will serve life in prison without parole.