U.S. Marshals say the arrest of Salvadoran terrorism suspect in Carson City doesn’t mean the capital has a major Central American gang presence.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Quinn Pardo said Antonio “Scrapy” Hernandez-Mejia was wanted by El Salvadoran officials as a member of the terrorist group 18 Revolutionary Pandilla, a faction of the Shadow Park Locos. That group is reportedly involved in a variety of crimes including murder, extortion and terrorism.
Pardo said Hernandez has been turned over to U.S. immigration officials and will be deported to El Salvador to face charges.
He said the fact that Hernandez and Wilbur Guzman, a Salvadoran illegal accused of four murders in Reno and Douglas County, were both arrested in Carson, “is certainly a coincidence,” but that the capital’s Salvadoran residents aren’t generally affiliated with gangs.
“That’s not a problem in their community,” said Pardo adding that Hernandez isn’t representative of the Salvadoran people who live in western Nevada.
Pardo said Hernandez was probably looking for a place to hide where authorities wouldn’t be looking for him and wanted to hide where there are people he can relate to.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong agreed that the capital’s Salvadoran community doesn’t represent a gang threat.
Pardo said the defendant was arrested in the past in California but was released on bond before deportation, “and, of course, he took off.”
He said the arrest came as a complete surprise to Hernandez.
“He’s been roaming for some time now and it wasn’t like he was looking over his shoulder,” he said.
Marshals were tipped to his presence in Carson City.