MS-13 gang leader Cesar Lopez-Larios arrested at Bush Airport in Houston

In a Houston federal court, Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios, also known as "Grenas de Stoners" and "Oso de Stoners," a top leader of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), was ordered to be transferred to the Eastern District of New York on charges including conspiracy to support and finance terrorism and narco-terrorism.

 Lopez-Larios, who had been a fugitive for more than three years, was arrested by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on June 9 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"The arrest of Lopez-Larios, who is one of the most senior leaders of MS-13 in the world, is a significant achievement for law enforcement and another crucial step in the dismantling of this international criminal enterprise," stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. "The defendant will soon face a reckoning in a federal courtroom on Long Island where acting on his orders, MS-13 has spilled so much blood and turned communities into war zones."

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Lopez-Larios is accused of helping to lead MS-13’s criminal operations across the United States, El Salvador, Mexico, and elsewhere. His charges include conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism, and narco-terrorism conspiracy. 

Court records state he was an original member of MS-13's Twelve Apostles of the Devil and later became a member of the Ranfla Nacional.  

It's alleged Ranfla Nacional oversaw the global expansion of MS-13, including operations in the United States and Mexico. Lopez-Larios and others were sent to establish networks for acquiring narcotics and firearms from Mexican cartels such as the Zetas, Gulf Cartel, CJNG, and Sinaloa Cartel. The group directed MS-13 members in the United States to conduct criminal enterprises, including drug trafficking and extortion, to fund the gang's terrorist operations in El Salvador and beyond.

Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios

"Now that Mr. Lopez-Larios is behind bars, he's no longer in his alleged position of power directing a reign of terror, nor enriching MS-13 and their cartel associates," stated FBI Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge Krysti Hawkins.

Lopez-Larios and 13 other high-ranking MS-13 leaders are charged with directing the gang’s violent activities, including acts of violence and murder, drug trafficking, and extortion. They are also accused of forming alliances with Mexican drug cartels and engaging in human trafficking.

HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Ivan J. Arvelo added, "Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios’ arrest represents yet another significant leader of MS-13 to be brought to justice this year. Despite his attempts to evade authorities, Lopez-Larios must now answer to criminal charges stemming from his alleged management of one of the most malicious transnational criminal organizations in existence today," stated HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Arvelo.


Two other defendants from the related indictment remain at large. The FBI and HSI are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

If convicted, Lopez-Larios faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. He will be arraigned in the Eastern District of New York at a later date. The investigation and arrest were supported by multiple federal agencies and coordinated by Joint Task Force Vulcan.

These charges are allegations, and Lopez-Larios is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.