Police make 6 more arrests in local gang-related killings

WASHINGTON — Six people have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Fairfax County man, whose death is linked to gang-related disappearances and another homicide in the region.

Edgar Oswaldo Blanco Torres, 24, Jose Martir Larios Espenal, 20, and a 17-year-old boy were arrested Wednesday in Newtown Township outside of Philadelphia, Prince William County police said. On Thursday, Prince William County police arrested 18-year-old Samuel Enrique Villalobos Sanchez in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. They are charged with murder for the killing of 21-year-old Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas, whose body was discovered along the shoreline of the Potomac River in Dumfries last month.

Blanco Torres also was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony.

Angelica Maria Blanco, 19, and Keyri Sujey Portillo Gonzalez, 18, were charged as co-conspirators in the killing and were arrested in the Baltimore area earlier this month, police said.

Police believe that several of the suspects are members of the infamous street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13. Search warrant documents obtained by WTOP’s broadcast news partners at NBC Washington reveal Sosa Rivas was killed by gang members who were upset that he was falsely claiming to be an MS-13 leader.

Police have also linked the Sosa Rivas’ slaying to the gang-related disappearance and killing of 15-year-old Alexandra Reyes Rivas, of Gaithersburg. She was found dead in a Virginia industrial park Feb. 11.

Prince William County police, with help from the FBI, the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and local law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania, tracked the three suspects to Newtown Township and took them into custody.

The five adults and teen are expected to be extradited to Virginia.

Last week, 10 people were charged in connection with the abduction and death of Reyes Rivas.

WTOP’s Sarah Beth Hensley contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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