A federal grand jury in Virginia returned a superseding indictment yesterday charging 12 members and associates of La Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13, with a variety of offenses based on their alleged involvement in a series of murders, racketeering and drug trafficking crimes.
Those charged in the indictment are:
According to the indictment, the defendants were members/associates of the Sitios Locos Salvatrucha clique (STLS) of MS-13.The indictment alleges that since at least in and around 2017, MS-13 members and associates regularly travelled to and from Long Island, New York, for the purpose of obtaining cocaine and transporting it to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where they and other gang members would sell it primarily, in restaurants and night clubs.
The indictment also charges eight of the defendants with several offenses stemming from their alleged involvement in four murders that occurred in Eastern Prince William County between June 22, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019.
Specifically, the indictment charges:
- Guevara, Arevalo and Turcios with the June 2019 double-murder of M.B.L. and J.G.M., and Vasquez with helping them after they committed the murders;
- Canales and Andrade with the August 2019 murder of E.L.T.; and
- Guevara, Molina and Aguilera with the September 2019 murder of A.K.S.
Defendants in this case are charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering, witness tampering, using a firearm during a crime of violence causing death, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act, among other crimes.
The statutory penalties for the charged offenses range from a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison to capital punishment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia; Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Chief Peter Newsham of Prince William County Police Department made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Blanchard, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Roberts and Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is supported by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
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