5 alleged MS-13 members face federal charges in Va. man’s death

WASHINGTON — Five alleged members and associates of the MS-13 gang are facing federal charges in the death of a Fairfax, Virginia, man in Prince William County.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that Edgar Oswaldo Blanco Torres, 25; Jose Martir Larios Espenal, 21; Samuel Enrique Villalobos Sanchez, 19; Dimas Misael Canales Santos, 27; and Keyri Sujey Portillo Gonzalez, 19, have all been indicted by a federal grand jury. Each has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering and kidnapping resulting in death.

The charges come from the death of Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas, 21, whose body was discovered along the Potomac River in Dumfries, Virginia, in January. The Justice Department said in a statement that he was killed Jan. 1 in a Dumfries park.

All five face maximum sentences of death or life in prison on the murder and kidnapping charges, and 10 years on the conspiracy counts.

The Justice Department said in the statement that the five believed Sosa Rivas was a member of a rival gang who was claiming to be an MS-13 member, and the defendants’ purpose was “gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in MS-13, which is an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity.”

The five, along with two juveniles and another adult, were charged with various state charges in Sosa Rivas’ death.

Police have also said Sosa Rivas’ killing is connected to that of 15-year-old Damaris Reyes Rivas, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, whose body was found in a Springfield, Virginia, industrial park in February.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up