UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA 9) -- Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks announced that Wednesday 20-year-old Wilfredo Rosales was sentenced to 11 years after being convicted of witness retaliation and participation in a criminal gang earlier in the month.
The conviction of the criminal gang is the first in the county and second in the state since the statute became law in 2007. Along with the 11 year sentence, Rosales was also given five years of supervised probation.
Alsobrooks heavily stressed the importance of having witnesses to legally classify the charges as criminal acts. "Witnesses to crimes are one of the foundations of our legal system and Mr. Rosales attempted to undercut our system with his actions and I am pleased that he has been held accountable," says Alsobrooks.
The case victim is a former active member of the MS-13 gang. He renounced his membership in the gang when he testified against three MS-13 members in a Washington DC federal homicide trial in 2010. As a result of the trials, all three were convicted of homicide and related offenses and sentenced to life in prison plus additional time.
MS-13 rules prohibits cooperating with law enforcement and the victim in the case knew that he could possibly killed by the gang for his cooperation with the government.
On September 26, 2012, while sitting in a park in Langley Park, the victim saw Rosales, whom he knew from previously preparing him to join MS-13 in 2007, according to police. Rosales and a group of men approached the victim demanding to know if he was the person they were searching for.
After the victim denied knowing what Rosales and his group were talking about they pushed him to the ground, beat him, stabbed him, and took his money, says police.