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Press Release

MS-13 Members and Associates Indicted in Racketeering, Narcotics, and Multiple Murder Conspiracies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment today charging twelve members and associates of “La Mara Salvatrucha”, or MS-13, with a variety of offenses based on their involvement in racketeering, drug trafficking, and a series of murders.

Those charged in the indictment are:



Gang Moniker(s) / Nickname(s)


Marvin Menjivar Gutiérrez



New York

Melvin Canales Saldana



New York

Mario Antonio Guevara Rivera


Blue, Azul, Telele


Cristian Ariel Arevalo Arias




Carlos Jose Turcios Villatoro




Abner Jose Molina Rodriguez


Rino, Tecolote


Manilester Andrade Rivas


Mani, Tandori, Conejo, Coqueto


Jairo Gustavo Aguilera Sagastizado


Coy, Maruchan, Psicólogo

New York

Walter Jeovanny Rubio Lemus




Juan Carlos Hernández Landaverde




Karen Estefany Figueroa Alfaro




Juan Manuel Vasquez Reyes





According to the indictment, the defendants were members or associates of the Sitios Locos Salvatrucha clique (STLS) of MS-13, which has operated in Northern Virginia and elsewhere for at least the past several years. The indictment alleges that since at least in and around 2017, these MS-13 members and associates regularly travelled to and from Long Island, New York, for the purpose of obtaining cocaine and transporting it to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where they and other gang members would sell it primarily, though not exclusively, in restaurants and night clubs. 

The indictment also charges eight of the defendants with a number of offenses stemming from their alleged involvement in four murders that occurred in Eastern Prince William County between June 22, 2019 and September 24, 2019. Specifically, the indictment charges:

  • Guevara, Arevalo, and Turcios with the June 2019 double-murder of M.B.L. and J.G.M., and Vasquez with helping them after they committed the murders;
  • Canales and Andrade with the August 2019 murder of E.L.T.; and
  • Guevara, Molina, and Aguilera with the September 2019 murder of A.K.S.

Defendants in this case are charged with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering, witness tampering, using a firearm during a crime of violence causing death, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act, among other crimes. The statutory penalties for the charged offenses range from a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison to capital punishment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Peter Newsham, Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Blanchard, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Roberts, and Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.

Significant assistance was provided by our partners, including the Northern Virginia Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force, the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, ICE/ERO, DEA, ATF, and the United States Marshal Service. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Prince William County also provided significant assistance.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation, Operation City of Bridges. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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. 1:21-cr-260.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated January 6, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime