- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A leader of a northern New Jersey street gang has admitted that he tried to kill a rival gang member.

Federal prosecutors say 27-year-old Carlos Valdez was among several high-ranking MS-13 members indicted in July for alleged racketeering crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder. They say Valdez admitted being the leader of an MS-13 set operating in Hudson County.

Valdez pleaded guilty Monday to engaging in a racketeering conspiracy and conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence. He faces up to 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced March 16.

Prosecutors say Valdez was recruited late last year by a national MS-13 leader to join a scheme to consolidate the gang’s cliques under a single, nationwide organization devoted to violence, extortion, and drug trafficking.

In November 2013, prosecutors say Valdez and other gang leaders in northern Jersey hatched a plot to murder two brothers in Hudson County. But law enforcement learned of the murder plot and arrested certain gang members, including Valdez, before it could be completed.

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