Twelve MS-13 members 'killed four random people in 2019 because they wanted to improve their status in the gang'
Police in northern Virginia announced charges Tuesday against a dozen alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang for four separate slayings in 2019, including three killings that authorities say were committed at random by gang members seeking to gain status within the organization.
At a news conference Tuesday in Woodbridge, Prince William County Police Acting Chief Jarad Phelps said the arrests have effectively decimated the 'Sitios' clique of MS-13.
'They were a danger to our public' Phelps said.
Four additional individuals were arrested on drug charges related to what police said was a large-scale trafficking operation run by the Sitios clique to bring cocaine from New York into Virginia.
The slayings include the deaths of Milton Lopez, 40, and Jairo Mayorga, 39, who were found dead from gunshot wounds in a wooded area of Woodbridge on June 22, 2019.
这些杀戮包括40岁的米尔顿·洛佩兹(Milton Lopez)和39岁的贾罗·马约尔加(Jairo Mayorga)的死亡，他们于2019年6月22日被发现死于枪伤，死于伍德布里奇的一个林区。
The other victims included Eric Tate II, 25, and the September 24, 2019, slaying of Antonio Smith, 37, who were shot and killed in separate incidents in Woodbridge and Dumfries while walking down the street, police said.
警方表示，其他受害者包括25岁的埃里克·泰特二世(Eric Tate II)，以及2019年9月24日安东尼奥·史密斯(Antonio Smith)遇害事件，37岁的安东尼奥·史密斯在伍德布里奇和邓弗里斯走在街上时分别被枪杀。
In a news release, police said the slayings of Mayorga, Tate and Smith were conducted by MS-13 members looking to increase their standing within the gang. The release states that the victims were 'targeted at random.'
Phelps declined to discuss the gang members' motives beyond that.
Phelps said more than 100 officers from multiple agencies investigated the slayings, which occurred between June and September of 2019.
A regional gang task force has targeted MS-13 and other gangs in northern Virginia. The gangs have been charged with murders, sex trafficking of minors, extortion and drug trafficking. In federal court in Alexandria earlier this year, an MS-13 leader in El Salvador became the first gang leader to face terrorism charges in the U.S. Another alleged MS-13 leader is facing a death penalty trial next year on charges of kidnapping and killing two northern Virginia teenagers in 2016.
Police said there are some connections between the charges announced Tuesday and the federal cases, but did not provide any details.
One of the 12 charged in the deaths is at large and believed to be in El Salvador; another is listed as being wanted while the rest are in custody.
Those charged in connection to the murders include:Abner Jose Molina Rodriguez, 23;Mario Antonio Guevera Rivera, 25;Cristian Ariel Arevalo Arias, 24;Carlos Jose Turcios Villatoro, 22;Melvin Canales Saldana, 27;Marvin Menjivar Gutierrez, 28; Jairo Gustavo Aguilera Sagistizado, 25;Manilester Andrade Rivas, 31;Wilmer Candelar Cabrera Rivera, 32; Keyly Yamileth Guzman, 25;Gerardo Reyes Serrano Molina, 25; andJuan Manuel Vasquez Reyes, 38.
与谋杀案有关的被告包括：23岁的Abner Jose Molina Rodriguez；25岁的Mario Antonio Guevera Rivera；24岁的Cristian Ariel Arevalo Arias；22岁的Carlos Jose Turcios Villatoro；27岁的Melvin Canales Saldana；28岁的Marvin Menjivar Gutierrez；25岁的Jairo Gustavo Aguera Sagistisado；31岁的Manilester Andrade Rivas；32岁的Wilmer Candelar Cabrera Rivera；25岁的Gerardo Reyes Serrano Molina和38岁的Juan Juan Vasquez Reyes。
The MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, was founded in Los Angeles between the 1970s and 1980s to provide protection for immigrants from El Salvador from rival gangs.
The gangs presence quickly spread to El Salvador as many members were deported, thus expanding the MS-13 influence to neighboring countries in Central America.
The notorious street gang throughout the years expanded across the United States, entrenching itself in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Mississippi and Virginia.
In the last several months, a number of MS-13 members have been detained in connection to a series of killings.
Last month, a MS-13 member pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to his role in three murders that shook an Ohio community in 2015 and 2016.
Pedro Alfonso Osorio-Flores, 41, became the 19th gang member to formally admit to his crimes and his participation in a racketeering conspiracy in Columbus on behalf of MS-13.
41岁的佩德罗·阿方索·奥索里奥-弗洛雷斯(Pedro Alfonso Osorio-Flores)成为第19个正式承认自己罪行并代表MS-13参与哥伦布敲诈勒索阴谋的帮派成员。
In August,José Jonathan Guevara-Castro - also known as Suspechoso - was arrested on August 13 in Acajutla, Sonsonate, El Salvador in connection to thea 2016 New York murder of a believed rival gang member.
Also in August, a federal court in Virginia presented charges against 11 purported members and associates of the vicious gang in connection with the sexually exploitation and beating of a 13-year-old girl.