Convicted 18th Street gang member sentenced to additional 75 years for 2009 murder -- Gazette.Net


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A Montgomery Village man already serving a 22-year sentence on gang-related racketeering charges was sentenced to another 75 years for murder in Montgomery County Circuit Court Friday afternoon.

Ysaud Flores, 33, is the second to the last of the 11 gang members found guilty of the Jan. 18, 2009 abduction and brutal murder of 15-year-old High Point High School student Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz. Flores previously pleaded guilty to the racketeering charge in U.S. District Court.

The racketeering charges stemmed from Flores’ involvement in a separate 2009 murder of Washington, D.C. resident Manuel Garcia-Fuentes. Flores received a 22-year sentence in that case, according to federal court documents. The sentence Flores received Friday will be served concurrently with his federal sentence, said Amy Bills, who prosecuted Flores’ case with fellow Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeffrey Wennar.

“We’re happy that [the case] is resolved and coming to a conclusion,” Wennar said after the sentencing Friday. “Not so much for us, but for the Guzman family. ... This child was taken from them and they’ve never recovered.”

Thomas M. Tamm, Flores’ defense attorney, declined to comment after the sentencing.

During the hearing Friday, Tamm asked Judge Eric M. Johnson to sentence Flores to serve only 20 years of a life sentence.

Flores, who is in the country illegally and has a young daughter back home in El Salvador, also asked Johnson for leniency.

“Due to my behavior and the behavior of others, people have lost their lives,” he said in his native Spanish, speaking through an interpretor. “During my incarceration I’ve come to realize that no one has the right to take the life of another.”

Johnson was unmoved, remembering what he called the “brutal” nature of the Guzman-Saenz murder.

“Sir, there’s very little that can be said in a case like this by anybody other than it was one of the most brutal attacks on a human being that can be imagined,” Johnson told Flores before delivering his sentence. “... An unmitigated, brutal attack on a kid is unimaginable.”

According to police reports and court records, Flores and 10 other members of the 18th Street gang kidnapped Guzman-Saenz from a bus stop in Langley Park on Jan. 18, 2009 after mistaking the High Point High School student for a member of MS-13, a rival street gang.

Guzman-Saenz was not a member of MS-13 but was friends with gang members, police said. The 18th Street gang members took Guzman-Saenz to a residence in Germantown, then to Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg. Guzman-Saenz was taken to a stream in the park where he was stabbed 72 times, police said.

After Flores’ sentencing Friday, only 22-year-old Silvia Martinez is left awaiting sentencing in Guzman-Saenz’s case. Martinez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Feb. 23, 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 6, according to Montgomery County court records.

jarias@gazette.net