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Press Release

Conspirator in Murder-For-Hire Conspiracy Convicted after Eight-Day Trial

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

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury late yesterday convicted Jose David Navarro Cervellon, age 41, of Norcross, Georgia, on federal charges related to a murder-for-hire.    

The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Tira Hayward of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to the evidence presented at his eight-day trial and to court documents, Navarro was an associate of Miguel Angel Ayala Rivera, who was the leader of the Pinos Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13.  In November 2016, co-defendant Miguel Antonio Renderos was looking for someone to murder Victim 1 in exchange for $10,000.  Navarro introduced Renderos to Ayala Rivera, who agreed to commit the murder.

The evidence presented at trial proved that Renderos wanted Victim 1 to be killed because in 2012, after Renderos allowed the victim to move into the basement of Renderos’s home, Victim 1 began to have a romantic relationship with Renderos’s wife.  With Navarro serving as the middleman between Renderos and Ayala Rivera, the defendants exchanged phone calls to arrange the murder.

As detailed at trial and in court documents, between November 1 and November 30, 2016, Navarro paid for a hotel room for Ayala Rivera and a co-conspirator at a hotel in College Park.  During that time, Ayala Rivera, Navarro and the co-conspirator conducted surveillance of Victim 1 in and around Victim 1’s residence.  On November 30, 2016, Navarro drove Ayala Rivera and the co-conspirator to Victim 1’s residence, where Ayala Rivera shot and killed Victim 1.  After the murder, Navarro left the area with Ayala Rivera and the co-conspirator and took Ayala Rivera to collect payment from Renderos for the murder of Victim 1.

Navarro faces a mandatory sentence of life prison for the murder-for-hire conspiracy and for the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire; and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and up to life in prison for murder resulting from the use, carrying, brandishing and discharging of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has not yet scheduled sentencing for Navarro.

Co-defendants Miguel Angel Ayala Rivera, age 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Miguel A. Renderos, age 47, of Hyattsville, Maryland, each pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder-for-hire and are scheduled to be sentenced on August 5, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. and September 6, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., respectively.  In a related case, Luis Cruz Hernandez, age 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the murder-for-hire and was sentenced to 51 years in federal prison

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Montgomery County Police Department and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Leah B. Grossi, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Marcia Lubin
(410) 209-4854

Updated July 21, 2022

Violent Crime