U.S. Marshals Arrest Two MS-13 Gang Members Charged with Attempted Murder

Jorge Cortez mugshot
Photos: Williamson County Sheriff's Office

U.S. Marshalls arrested two illegal alien MS-13 gang members in Austin, Texas, as part of a Lone Star Fugitive Task Force operation. The marshalls tracked down the duo after a court in Harris County (Houston) issued attempted murder warrants.

U.S. Marshall’s deputies arrested 17-year-old Bryan Funez and 23-year-old Jorge Alexander Cortez in the sanctuary city of Austin. Judge Maria Jackson, 339th District Court in Houston, issued warrants for their arrest after investigators learned they allegedly conspired to kill a rival MS-13 gang member, KVUE reported Monday evening.

Marshalls found Funez on February 21 in downtown Austin. They took him into custody without incident. The following day, marshalls located Cortez at a construction site in Hutto, Texas.

The two MS-13 gang members are in jails in Travis and Williamson Counties awaiting transport to Houston.

A criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas from Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel’s office revealed that both men are Salvadoran nationals. KVUE reported the men are illegally present in the U.S.

The criminal complaint alleges that Funez and Cortez conspired with Melquisedec Lemus-Monje to transport and shoot Bryan Rivas-Romero, an MS-13 gang member from a different clique. Prosecutors allege that the Lemus-Monje and Funez transported Rivas-Romero from Austin to Houston where they planned to kill him.

The three co-conspirators communicated with an MS-13 gang member in the Virginia Sailors Locos Salvatrucha Westside (SLSW) clique and with leaders in El Salvador, investigators learned from FBI wire intercepts. The three suspects are also documented members of the SLSW clique, the complaint states.

The wire intercept monitored many calls between the leaders and Lemus-Monje. In one of the calls Lemus-Monje “discussed another MS-13 homeboy known as Camello. The person known as Camello lives in Austin, the complaint states. Investigators identified Camello as a “Chavala” (Spanish for a member of a rival gang). The Virginia leader advised Lemus-Monje that he wanted the murder carried out on Saturday (February 10), or Sunday (February 11).

The dispute that resulted in the hit being ordered on the Austin gang member arose over debts for the sale of marijuana. On February 10, the suspects allegedly picked up the victim and drove him to Houston.

Police officers stopped the murder two minutes before it would have taken place, the complaint states.

Following the resulting investigation, the court issued a warrant for the suspects arrested in Austin on Monday.

Breitbart Texas reached out to ICE officials for additional information on the MS-13 gang members. A response was not immediately available.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGab, and Facebook.



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