MS-13 gang member stops in Ladson for fast food, surrounded by deputies minutes later

U.S. Marshals led the operation to arrest Franklin Platero-Rodriguez,21, who was wanted for murder by authorities in Walker County Texas.
U.S. Marshals led the operation to arrest Franklin Platero-Rodriguez,21, who was wanted for murder by authorities in Walker County Texas.

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A wanted MS-13 gang member and murder suspect was arrested after he stopped for some fast food in Ladson.

U.S. Marshals led the operation to arrest Franklin Platero-Rodriguez,21, who was wanted for murder by authorities in Walker County Texas.

On Tuesday night, law enforcement saw Platero-Rodriguez leave a Subway in the 9000 block of Highway 78 and got into a white Ford F-150 truck.

"He had just got a sandwich a few seconds ago. He went out to his car, everything was fine when he was in here," Subway employee Taylor Guzeman said. "All of the sudden, K-9 cars pulled up. They all had guns, one had an assault rifle. They were all pointing at his car with a bunch of K-9s behind him."

According to Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis, Rodriguez shot and killed someone, put them in the truck of a vehicle and then set it on fire.

"[MS-13} is known for its violence and deadly retributions against honest citizens and government officials. There have been kidnapping, they're involved in child porn trade and illegal weapons and narcotics," Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said. "I just want to reassure the public that we're taking a look at why this individual is here and if there are any other MS-13 gang members in our area.

Lewis said he doesn't see any indication that the MS-13 gang is in the Lowcountry.

"We've stepped up our intelligence efforts, I won't tell you what those are. We're looking at his associates in this area," Lewis said. "He has been deported at least once and entered the county illegally again." 

When the U.S. Marshals and BCSO took Rodriguez into custody, he was found to have a loaded 9-millimeter pistol on him, BCSO officials said.

The truck the suspect had matched the description of the vehicle from the murder Rodriguez is accused of committing in Texas.

Rodriguez has three different charges related to the pistol pending with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

"We believe, based on information from detectives in Walker County Texas, that it may be the murder weapon," Lewis said.

Lewis said detectives with Walker County Texas are on their way to Berkeley County to interview the suspect.

After Rodriguez's arrest, evidence found also made him a suspect in a home invasion and shooting that happened early Tuesday morning just down the street from where he was living in Ladson.

"The suspect entered wearing a mask and gloves, robbed the family, and shot the father," Lewis said.

Rodriguez is currently in the Hill Finklea Detention Center.

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