ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The State’s Attorney’s Office of Montgomery County argued that the conviction and sentencing of one MS-13 gang member should send a message to the Salvadorian-based gang and the community that gang activity will not be tolerated.
On Thursday, David Lagunes-Bolanos, 18, pled guilty and was sentenced on two charges tied to gang activity. Penalties for gang participation and possession of a weapon in a place of confinement brought a 25-year-sentence from the judge in the case.
Lagunes-Bolanos was one of several people seen in and around a house on University Avenue known as a “Destroyer.” It was at that home that an inspection worker was confronted by Lagunes-Bolanos and another man and threatened with a gun for being inside.
Inside the home police found lots of graffiti and evidence of a long stay by several people. According to charging documents police found bottles inside used instead of a running toilet. There was also a shrine to Santa Muerte.
Prosecutors weren’t sure how long the gang members had been in the abandoned house.
Lagunes-Bolanos picked up the other charge he was sentenced while at the Montgomery County Detention Center. In March, he was found with at least four objects described as weapons including three shivs and toe nail clippers.
Though Lagunes-Bolanos was 17 when he was arrested prosecutors pushed for him to be tried as an adult.
“There are very young people involved in these gangs,” said John McCarthy of the State’s Attorney’s Office of Montgomery County. “If you’re not under the age of 18 and don’t think there’s going to be an enormous consequence for what you do I think today’s sentence shows that it is not the case in Montgomery County."