Honduran Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in MS-13 Gang Initiatiation Murder in Virginia
A Honduran national was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison today for his role in a 2011 murder in Richmond, Virginia.
Yerwin Ivan Hernandez-Ordonez aka Probador, 21, was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Payne to serve 365 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence resulting in the death of another. The murder was part of a gang initiation for two recruits of La Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13. In October 2016, Hernandez-Ordonez was arrested in Panama and extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty on May 5.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Lee of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Police Chief Alfred Durham of the Richmond Police Department made the announcement.
MS-13 is a national and international gang with its leadership primarily based in El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence within the gang and against rival gangs. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible.
According to his plea agreement, Hernandez-Ordonez admitted that he aided and abetted two MS-13 recruits to murder a victim so the recruits could gain entrance into MS-13. Specifically, Hernandez-Ordonez admitted that on July 23, 2011, he and members of the Richmond Sailors clique of MS-13 suspected the victim was a member of a rival gang. The leader of the clique decided the killing of the rival gang member would be the initiation rite for two MS-13 recruits. The leader chose Hernandez-Ordonez and another person to ensure the recruits carried out the murder. Later that night and into the early morning hours of July 24, 2011, the recruits drove the victim to an area near the 8200 block of Riverside Drive, Richmond, Virginia, for the purpose of murdering the victim. While at the location, one of the recruits attempted to shoot the victim, but the gun misfired. An MS-13 member then shot the victim with another gun, but did not kill him. The victim attempted to flee; however, Hernandez-Ordonez chased after the victim and brought him back to the group. The two recruits then shot the victim in the head and killed him. Later that same day, the two recruits were initiated into the gang MS-13.
The case was investigated by FBI Richmond, HSI Richmond, and the Richmond Police Department. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant support with the defendant’s extradition. Trial Attorneys Matthew K. Hoff and Andrew Creighton of the Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Miller of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.