Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 is an international #Crime syndicate operating out of Los Angeles, California. The MS-13 also has its branches in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, and even in Canada.
#Gang members, who are predominantly of Central American origin, mostly from El Salvador and Mexico, distinguish themselves with their outrageous tattoos. The tattoos often cover their whole bodies, including their faces in some cases.
Here is a story of one such gang member whose body art manifested itself into his downfall. Yes, it is steeped in irony.
On 23rd January, 2004, Anthony Garcia killed a rival gang member by the name of John Juarez in cold blood. The crime took place outside a liquor store in Pico Rivera in East Los Angeles. According to one testimony, Garcia and another gang mate walked up to Juarez, asked him where he was from, and shot him several times before fleeing the scene.
In the aftermath of the murder, Garcia in his finite wisdom came up with the most surreal, albeit stupid, idea. He got a brand new #Tattoo on his chest. The pattern provided a symbolic representation of his kill. What it depicted was a helicopter shooting a "peanut man" outside a liquor store. The helicopter refers to Garcia who also went by the name of "chopper". "Peanut" refers to Juarez or members of the Pico Nuevo gang to which he belonged.
Other minute details provide sufficient evidence of Garcia's link to the murder.
Four years later, in 2008, Garcia was arrested for driving without a valid license. As per the norms involved in profiling suspected gang members, Garcia's tattoos were photographed for reference.
Detective Sgt. Kevin Lloyd, who took part in the investigation of Juarez's murder four years ago, stumbled upon Garcia's profile in the records and made a very shrewd observation of his tattoos. The art was so vivid, it also showed the Christmas lights hanging on the roof of the liquor store. Lloyd put the pieces together and presented his case in court, testifying in the trial that led to Garcia being convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 65 years to life in prison.
Talk about regrettable tattoos.