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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Four MS-13 Members Indicted For 10 Murders, Kidnapping And Racketeering Charges

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Four alleged members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) have been charged in a federal superseding indictment with a racketeering conspiracy involving multiple murders, kidnappings and burglaries, as well as drug trafficking.

The individuals charged in the superseding indictment are: Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, 27, aka Molesto; David Arturo Perez-Manchame, 22, aka Herbi, aka Walter Melendez; Joel Vargas-Escobar, 25, aka Mumia; and Alexander De Jesus Figueroa-Torres, 25. 

According to court documents, MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed largely of individuals of Salvadoran or other Central American descent. MS-13 has more than 10,000 members regularly conducting gang activities in at least 10 states and Washington, D.C., with thousands more conducting gang activities in Central America and Mexico. The purpose of the MS-13 enterprise includes preserving, promoting, and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation and violence, including murder, and enriching members and associates of the enterprise through criminal activities, including breaking into houses and stealing firearms, jewelry, cash, and other items of value, and selling narcotics. MS-13 is organized by subsets known as “cliques,” and each clique typically has one or more leaders, commonly referred to as “shot callers.” 

The superseding indictment charges alleged members of the Parkview clique operating in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Racketeering (RICO) Conspiracy and multiple counts of murder and kidnapping in aid of racketeering, as well as firearms charges. More specifically, the indictment charges the following acts of violence occurring over an approximately 12-month period:

Date

Offense/Predicate Act

March 3, 2017

D.C. murdered

Dec. 31, 2017

R.G. murdered

Jan. 18, 2018

C.P. kidnapped and murdered

Jan. 21, 2018

A.S. kidnapped and murdered

Feb. 2, 2018

J.R. murdered

Feb. 6, 2018

J. H. murdered

Feb. 6, 2018

R.O. murdered

Feb. 6, 2018

J.C. shot and wounded

Mid-February, 2018

I.T. kidnapped and murdered

Mid-February, 2018

R.P. kidnapped and murdered

March 1, 2018

E.R. kidnapped and murdered

 

“The Criminal Division and our federal, state and local partners are committed to dismantling violent gangs like MS-13,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The violence alleged in the superseding indictment in this case is truly shocking. The murder spree carried out by MS-13 in Las Vegas clearly shows the danger posed by organized street gangs like MS-13.”

“By significantly undermining MS-13’s ability to engage in violence in Las Vegas, the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners have made our communities safer,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada. “Our office remains committed to protecting our neighborhoods against gang violence and other criminal activity by prosecuting dangerous transnational criminal organizations like MS-13.”

“Taking violent offenders off the street should send a message to MS-13 members and their associates that violence and murder will not be tolerated in Las Vegas,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office. “Working with our local partners, we are committed to staying in the fight until this plague is purged from our communities.”

Reyes-Castillo and Perez-Manchame are scheduled for their initial court appearance on Tuesday, Aug. 10 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. If convicted, they face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Bureau are investigating the case.

Trial attorneys Jeremy Franker and Chris Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen Torgoley of the District of Nevada are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 4, 2021