Two alleged MS-13 members have been charged with federal gang crimes in connection with a March shooting that injured a 15-year-old girl walking home from school.
Gabriel “Smiley” Cisneros, 19, and Danny Hernandez Jiminez, 20, are in federal custody. They were arrested shortly after the March 10 shooting in southeast Charlotte and already face state assault charges.
Police said that one of them fired a gun into a crowd after a fistfight near Independence Boulevard and Conference Drive.
Amari Boyd, a sophomore at East Mecklenburg High School, was hit in the leg while walking nearby.
The federal indictment, unsealed Thursday, accuses the men of carrying out the shooting to advance their position in the gang, which has roots in El Salvador and is known for violence.
Cisneros faces federal charges of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault in aid of racketeering, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
If convicted, he could face life in federal prison.
Jiminez was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and accessory after the fact to attempted murder and assault. He could face up to 30 years in prison.
The indictment follows a recent roundup of MS-13 gang members in Charlotte.
Earlier this week, a federal jury in Charlotte recommended the death penalty for Alejandro Umana, 25, an MS-13 member convicted of killing two brothers in Greensboro.
He also was found guilty of conspiring to extort money from Charlotte drug dealers to increase MS-13’s revenues.
He was one of 26 alleged MS-13 members arrested on charges ranging from murder and extortion to racketeering conspiracy and robbery in 2008.
Eighteen pleaded guilty to various crimes, and six were convicted in a high-profile federal trial in Charlotte earlier this year. One is imprisoned in El Salvador.