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MS-13 member convicted for making threats against Phoenix police

PHOENIX — A member of the MS-13 street gang was convicted for threatening a Phoenix police officer, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Matthew Moreno, 34, was convicted of threatening or intimidating and assisting a criminal street gang, both felonies.

According to the attorney’s office, a Phoenix police officer contacted Moreno on Aug. 29, 2018, during an unrelated investigation.

Moreno cursed at the officer and flashed gang signs, according to a press release. After a sergeant arrived, Moreno took off his shirt to show MS-13 tattoos on his stomach and back.

The release also stated that Moreno made violent threatening statements to the officer and said as a gang member, he “makes one call and that’s it.”

He told police that he was a high-ranking member of the gang and earned his tattoos doing work for it.

“MS-13 is known nationwide for furthering its interests and expanding its control through extremely violent and barbaric crimes,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in the release.

“The defendant’s threats and actions are indicative of this culture and law enforcement will act to protect our community from this growing menace.”

According to the release, this was the first case of a known MS-13 member being prosecuted by MCAO for a gang-motivated crime.

Moreno will be sentenced Sept. 6.

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