7th member of MS-13 criminal enterprise indicted for murder
HOUSTON – Another member of the violent international street gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is set to appear in federal court for his alleged role in a 2018 murder, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Carlos Elias Henriquez-Torres, 20, an El Salvadorian national who illegally resided in Houston, was previously in state custody on related charges. He is set to appear at 2 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison on the charges in the superseding indictment returned March 31.
Previously indicted were Wilson Jose Venture-Mejia, 24, Jimmy Villalobos-Gomez, 24, Angel Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa, 35, Walter Antonio Chicas-Garcia, 24, and Marlon Miranda-Moran, 21, all El Salvadorian nationals. Villalobos-Gomez is a legal permanent resident but the remaining men unlawfully resided in Houston. The charges against all of them remain pending.
Also named in the indictment is Franklin Trejo-Chavarria, 23. He is currently in custody in El Salvador.
The indictment alleges they committed a 2018 murder in furtherance of the MS-13 enterprise. The victim was allegedly beaten to death with machetes in order for the defendants to further their positions in the enterprise.
All are charged with conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering.
If convicted, they face a potential death sentence.
The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Britni Cooper and John Michael Lewis are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Julie A. Finocchiaro, Gerald Collins and Matthew Hoff from the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.