MS-13 gang members sentenced for kidnapping and murdering 2 juveniles in VA
The Department of Justice released a statement declaring “Five members of the transnational street gang La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, have received sentences of life imprisonment for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of two adolescent boys in 2016.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the 5 MS-13 gang members targeted a 17-year-old resident of Falls Church, “who they erroneously suspected was a member of the rival 18th Street gang.”
On August 28, 2016, the gang lured the victim to Holmes Run Stream Valley Park in Fairfax County under the pretense that there was going to be a gang meeting there. Instead, the MS-13 gang members restrained, attacked, and killed the victim, stabbing and chopping him more than 100 times with knives, a machete, and a pickaxe.
They then broke his legs so that his body would fit into the pre-dug hole that was nearby. Court records and evidence presented at trial also established that the same individuals also targeted a 14-year-old resident of Alexandria.
Reportedly, the gang members “erroneously suspected” the 14-year-old was a police informant. On the evening of September 26, 2016, nearly a month after the killing of the 17-year-old, the gang used their same tactic and told the minor to attend a gang meeting later that night at the same park.
“Not long thereafter,” the DOJ statement continues, the 14-year-old went “outside in his pajamas, telling his mother he was just taking out the trash.” Eventually, several gang members picked up the child and took him to the same park and killed him in the same fashion.
They also filmed the murder with a cell phone so that they could prove to gang leaders in the United States and in El Salvador that they deserved to be promoted in rank.
The statement concludes:
“Brutality is the hallmark of MS-13. The defendants kidnapped and murdered two innocent teenagers, shattering their dreams and stoking fear in the communities we live and work in,” said Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division. “This joint investigation demonstrates the FBI and our law enforcement partners’ refusal to tolerate violent gang members who terrorize our neighborhoods and ruthlessly murder rival gang members and innocent civilians.”
“This is a profoundly disturbing case involving gang members taking the lives of young members of our community. We are proud to work with our Federal partners on cases like this to keep Fairfax County and surrounding communities safe,” said Kevin Davis, Fairfax County Chief of Police.
To date, a total of 17 defendants have been charged in this case, five of whom went to trial and were convicted of all charges. Nine defendants pleaded guilty prior to trial. See the table below for additional information on the defendants who were convicted at trial.
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