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Beaumont, Texas News

Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in MS-13 Racketeering Case Resulting in Deadly Prison Attack

Juan Carlos Rivas-Moreiera, also known as "Stocky," pleaded guilty today in the Eastern District of Texas for his role in a violent racketeering conspiracy linked to the transnational criminal organization MS-13. U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs announced the plea, marking the conclusion of a case that saw nationwide repercussions within the federal prison system.

Rivas-Moreiera admitted to participating in a planned attack orchestrated by MS-13 members at the U.S. Penitentiary in Beaumont. The assault resulted in two deaths, two attempted murders, and a week-long lockdown of all Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates in April 2022.

The plea follows indictments of seven defendants, including Rivas-Moreiera, for their involvement in the deadly incident targeting Mexican Mafia and Sureños associates. Rivas-Moreiera faces a potential life sentence for his actions.

MS-13, primarily composed of immigrants from El Salvador and other Central American countries, has historically cooperated with the Mexican Mafia and Sureños but has recently experienced heightened tensions, leading to violent confrontations.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Batte and Christopher A. Eason from the Eastern District of Texas, alongside Stewart M. Young from the District of Utah and Jacob Warren from the National Security Division, with support from the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons.

Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV), established in 2019 to combat transnational criminal organizations like MS-13, played a crucial role in coordinating this prosecution effort across multiple U.S. Attorney's Offices and law enforcement agencies.

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