MS-13 Gangster Known as “Crook de Hollywood” Indicted on Terrorism Charges

( — The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that the FBI arrested a high-ranking member of MS-13 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on November 9, just two days after Mexican authorities apprehended him, KHOU reported.

According to a DOJ press release, Elmer Canales-Rivera, who went by the nickname Crook de Hollywood, was charged in December 2020 with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to finance terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism across national borders, and narco-terrorism conspiracy.

Canales-Rivera, one of the founders of MS-13’s “Twelve Apostles of the Devil,” is accused by the Justice Department of being responsible for the gang’s efforts to “terrorize communities, target law enforcement, and sow violence” both in the US and abroad, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Canales-Rivera, along with 13 other MS-13 leaders, were indicted in December 2020 in the Eastern District of New York. A Houston judge ordered Caneles-Rivera to be transferred to New York.

When the indictment was first unsealed in January 2021, Canales-Rivera was in prison in El Salvador. The US submitted an extradition request. However, in November 2021, he was released from custody and fled to Guatemala, where he remained a fugitive until he was taken into custody by Mexican authorities on November 7.

According to the Justice Department, the investigation into Canales-Rivera and MS-13 was spearheaded by the Los Angeles FBI field office and headed up by Joint Task Force Vulcan, a group created specifically to combat MS-13.

Canales-Rivera and his co-conspirators are accused of orchestrating violence both in El Salvador and the United States and setting up connections to supply weapons and narcotics to Mexican criminal cartels.

FBI Director Christopher Wray lauded the FBI and its foreign law enforcement partners for successfully apprehending Canales-Rivera.

If convicted of the charges, Canales-Rivera faces life in prison.

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