Two alleged Union City MS-13 gang members charged in plot to murder a witness

UNION CITY — Two Hudson County, New Jersey, men appeared in federal court Dec. 22 to face charges that they allegedly conspired to kill a gang member who was suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a press release.
Juan Pablo Escalante-Melgar, a/k/a “Humilde,” 26, and Elmer Cruz-Diaz, a/k/a “Locote,” 27, both of Union City are charged in a one-count criminal complaint with allegedly conspiring to kill an individual to prevent him or her from communicating with a law enforcement officer.
Escalante-Melgar and Cruz-Diaz made their initial appearances that afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III and were detained. Both were originally taken into custody on Sept. 3, 2015 for immigration charges.
The release said that the two men are allegedly “members of the international street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as ‘MS-13.’ ” There are what’s known as “cliques” of the gang in Hudson County. Both men were allegedly the “First Word” or leader of local cliques, according to the complaint.

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