An MS-13 gang member in Texas was sentenced to 99 years behind bars after he was convicted of killing a man to achieve a higher position within the violent organization, officials said.
Jonathan Steven Guevara, 21, was handed the lengthy sentence by a jury on Tuesday for killing Hector Daniel Diaz, 28, in November 2015, according to a news release from the Harris County District Attorney’s office.
“The jury’s verdict and sentence on the case we presented speaks volumes about society’s judgment of this vicious behavior,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “We will hold these gangs accountable, convict them of their crimes, and lock them away for decades.”
Diaz, a Honduras man in the U.S. legally, was shot eight times by Guevara and another MS-13 member, the news release said. They reportedly “took turns” firing their weapons at Diaz.
The other member has reportedly pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced.
There was no sign that Diaz had known or ever previously talked to his assailants, prosecutors said.
“Guevara brutally gunned down his victim, and four days later bought another gun, clearly ready to kill again, if not for his arrest,” Assistant District Attorney Lisa Collins said. “We take MS-13 very seriously.”
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have made combatting the organization a top focus for the administration. Sessions, under a directive from an executive order signed in February 2017 by Trump, instructed law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors throughout the U.S. to prioritize MS-13 members’ prosecution.
The MS-13 gang, which was started by Central American immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980’s, was deemed as a transnational criminal organization by the Treasury Department in 2012.
Fox News’ Raymond Bogan contributed to this report.