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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019

MS-13 Gang Members Charged with Kidnapping and Murder

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging death-eligible offenses against 11 members of MS-13 for their role in the kidnapping and murder of two juveniles in 2016.

According to allegations in the indictment, in August and September 2016, Edenilson Misael Alfaro, aka “Lil Sicario,” originally from El Salvador and holding a high-ranking position in MS-13, authorized numerous lower-ranking members of MS-13’s Park View Locos Salvatrucha (PVLS) clique in Virginia to lure, kidnap, and murder two juveniles, E.E.E.M. and S.A.A.T.

According to the indictment, Alfaro was notified in August 2016 that E.E.E.M. posted a photograph of a masked man to his Facebook account with the number 666 superimposed above his head.  Perceiving the Facebook post as evidence that E.E.E.M. was a member of the rival 18th Street gang, Alfaro authorized and directed members of the PVLS clique to kill E.E.E.M. Today’s indictment charges Alfaro and six other members and associates of the PVLS clique for their role in luring E.E.E.M. to Holmes Run Stream Valley Park in Fairfax County where E.E.E.M. was attacked and murdered. The indictment further alleges that the defendants videotaped E.E.E.M.’s murder to prove to gang leadership that the murder had been completed and that they were worthy of promotion within the gang.

According to the indictment, in September 2016, Elmer Zelaya Martinez, aka “Killer,” originally from El Salvador and holding a high-ranking position in the PVLS clique, reported to Alfaro his belief that S.A.A.T. was cooperating with law enforcement.  Alfaro authorized and directed members of the PVLS clique to kill S.A.A.T. Today’s indictment charges all 11 defendants for their role in luring S.A.A.T. to Holmes Run Stream Valley Park, where S.A.A.T. was attacked and murdered.  The indictment further alleges that the defendants videotaped S.A.A.T.’s murder as well to prove to gang leadership that the murder had been completed and that they were worthy of promotion in the gang.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to kidnap, murder in aid of racketeering activity, and kidnapping resulting in death. If convicted of the substantive counts, the defendants may face the death penalty. 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 Devil’s Playground. 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, Matthew J. DeSarno, 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 the indictment was returned. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebeca H. Bellows and Alexander E. Blanchard are prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Office’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force, the United States Marshal's Service, Prince William County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Prince George's County Police Department, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Alexandria Police Department, Leesburg Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations provided significant assistance during this investigation.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-123.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 22, 2019