WASHINGTON – An investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. led to the conviction of 4 Northern Virginia MS-13 gang members on March 17 for drug distribution, racketeering, and their roles in two tried murders in Prince William County, Virginia, in 2019.
In response to court docket information and proof introduced throughout a three-week trial, Roberto Cruz Moreno, 22, of Woodbridge, and Marvin Torres, 21, of Manassas, had been “chequeos,” that are troopers, within the Guanacos Lil Cycos (GLCS) clique of MS-13; Kevin Perez Sandoval, 24, of Warrenton, was an “observacion,” which is a decrease degree soldier within the GLCS clique; and Jose Rosales Juarez, 27, of Manassas, was a “paro,” which is an entry degree member of the GLCS clique.
In March 2019, Cruz Moreno picked up three different GLCS gang members and a sufferer recognized as E.P.A. and drove them to an remoted wooded space in Bristow, the place one GLCS gang member shot E.P.A. a number of instances and one other stabbed E.P.A. within the neck. They did this as a result of GLCS gang members believed E.P.A. was disrespecting MS-13 and associating with a rival gang. Following the tried homicide, Cruz Moreno fled the scene with the three different GLCS contributors and drove them to his residence. In April 2019, native regulation enforcement officers in Fairfax County discovered Cruz Moreno in possession of the identical firearm used to shoot E.P.A and a number of other grams of packaged cocaine in his automobile, together with three different GLCS gang members touring with him within the automobile. Cruz Moreno had earlier that day been promoting the cocaine on behalf of the clique.
“These convictions mark a major victory for HSI, but additionally for law-abiding residents within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan space,” mentioned Particular Agent in Cost Ray Villanueva of HSI Washington, D.C. “Not solely are 4 violent criminals off the streets, however we despatched a message to members of malicious road gangs that their prison acts will solely finish them up in a jail cell.”
In July 2019, Torres recognized a sufferer, often known as N.M.S., as a rival gang member in GLCS-controlled territory and supplied images of N.M.S. to fellow gang members. On August 3 and 4, 2019, Rosales Juarez surveilled N.M.S. at a restaurant in Manassas, and mentioned plans to kill N.M.S. with GLCS’ First Phrase, or chief, Andy Tovar, 32, of White Put up. Tovar is taken into account to be one of many highest-ranking MS-13 members in the USA. On Aug. 12, 2019, Tovar granted permission to conduct the killing of N.M.S. That day, Perez Sandoval drove two members or associates of MS-13 to retrieve a firearm, then again to N.M.S.’s location the place they shot him. Perez Sandoval then drove the associates from the scene of the taking pictures to Rosales Juarez’s residence. Rosales Juarez supplied Perez Sandoval a unique automotive to drive and rented a resort room for the 2 different GLCS gang members concerned within the tried homicide of N.M.S., with the intention to hinder regulation enforcement detection of these concerned.
Previous to this trial, on February 4, Tovar pleaded responsible to every of the crimes with which he was charged in an indictment, together with participating in conspiracies to homicide a sufferer recognized as M.R.G. Tovar approved GLCS gang members to kill M.R.G., and, on July 3, 2017, GLCS gang members traveled from Prince William County to Charlottesville to homicide M.R.G as a result of the GLCS clique believed M.R.G was a rival gang member. Following Tovar’s authorization, 4 GLCS gang members stabbed M.R.G to demise over 140 instances utilizing knives and a machete earlier than they dumped the sufferer’s physique in a creek, burned his automotive, and fled again to Prince William County.
“MS-13 and comparable hostile prison gangs habitually terrify law-abiding residents with their reckless violence,” Villanueva mentioned. “HSI Washington, D.C. will proceed working tirelessly to apprehend lawless offenders whereas defending the residents of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan space.”
Tovar, Cruz Moreno, and Perez Sandoval every face a compulsory minimal sentence of 10 years and a most penalty of life in jail. Torres and Rosales Juarez every face a most sentence of 20 years in jail. Precise sentences for federal crimes are sometimes lower than the utmost penalties. Tovar can be sentenced on July 13, and Cruz Moreno, Perez Sandoval, Torres, and Rosales Juarez can be sentenced on August 31. A federal district court docket choose will decide any sentence after making an allowance for the U.S. Sentencing Pointers and different statutory elements.
The convictions had been a results of an HSI Washington, D.C.-led investigation in partnership with the USA Lawyer’s Workplace, Japanese District of Virginia; the Federal Bureau of Investigations Washington, D.C. subject workplace Felony Division; the Albemarle County Police; the Manassas Metropolis Police; the Prince William County Police; and the Fairfax County Police.
HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), liable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these prison organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by way of which worldwide commerce, journey, and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 workers consists of greater than 7,100 particular brokers assigned to 220 cities all through the USA, and 80 abroad areas in 53 international locations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’s largest investigative regulation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. regulation enforcement.