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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 29, 2019

MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty in Connection with Gang-Related Assault

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An MS-13 gang member pleaded guilty today for his role and participation in a violent gang-related assault of a victim with multiple bats.

“The reasons for this callous and violent crime were as senseless as the brutality of the assault itself,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “For several minutes, Rivera and other members and associates of MS-13, savagely beat the victim with baseball bats within inches of his life to instill fear in members of the community and enforce MS-13’s warped code of violence and rules. Our investigation and prosecution of this case should send a clear message that law enforcement will not stand by as MS-13 attempts to terrorize our community, and that those involved in the violent acts of MS-13 will be prosecuted.”

Marlon Edgardo Huezo Rivera, aka “Oscuro”, 19, of Falls Church, a member or associate of the Chilangueras clique of MS-13 in Northern Virginia, is the final charged defendant to plead guilty in this case.

According to court documents, Rivera conspired with several other members and associates of MS-13 to lure the victim to James Lee Park in Falls Church so that they could assault the victim. Rivera and other members and associates of MS-13 believed the victim was cooperating with law enforcement, falsely representing himself as a member of MS-13, and disparaging the Silvas clique of MS-13. After luring the victim to the park under false pretenses, Rivera, and approximately a dozen other members and associates of MS-13, beat the victim with bats, fists, and feet for approximately three minutes. As a result of the beating, the victim suffered multiple broken limbs and was hospitalized for several days.

“MS-13 members like Rivera cause horrific violence and terrorize our community. This investigation shows that the FBI Washington Field Office and our law enforcement partners will not stop investigating and prosecuting those who seek to harm our community in engage in criminal gang activity,” said Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division. “I would like to thank the FBI Special Agents that investigated this case, the prosecutors, and our local partners who are actively engaged in disrupting and dismantling MS-13 in order to combat these senseless crimes."

Rivera pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on November 22. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was also investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s (OCDETF) Operation Rusty Gate. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas U. Murphy II and Cristina Stam, and Trial Attorney Shauna Hale of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.

This matter was investigated by the FBI WFO’s Safe Streets/HIDTA Task Force – Northern Virginia which is composed of FBI Agents along with Task Force Officers from the Fairfax County Police, the Prince William County Police, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police Department, the Alexandria City Police, Fairfax City Police, Vienna Police Department, Herndon Police Department, and the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, along with Agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations  and ATF. The mission of this task force is to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle the most egregious and violent gangs operating in the Capital Region to include members of MS-13, a transnational street gang, known for its acts of violence.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-129.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated August 30, 2019