A federal grand jury returned indictments this week against a dozen MS-13 gang members and associates in connection with racketeering, drug trafficking, and a series of random murders.
Eight of those indicted have been charged for involvement in four killings in eastern Prince William County between June and September 2019, the FBI said in a news release.
Authorities say MS-13 gang members randomly shot down two people in Prince William County neighborhoods and killed two more for reasons still unknown. All of the suspects were members of, or are otherwise connected to, the “Sitios Locos Salvatruchas,” a clique of the criminal street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13.
Two murder victims had no known connection to the gang members and appeared to have been killed for initiations or “something to prove,” police said. One knew the suspects, and another man with him at the time “was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” according to police.
Those charged in the indictment include Marvin Menjivar Gutiérrez, 29, of New York; Melvin Canales Saldana, 29, of New York; Mario Antonio Guevara Rivera, 26, of Woodbridge; Cristian Ariel Arevalo Arias, 26, of Woodbridge; Carlos Jose Turcios Villatoro, 23, of Woodbridge; Abner Jose Molina Rodriguez, 24,of Woodbridge; Manilester Andrade Rivas, 32, of Woodbridge; Jairo Gustavo Aguilera Sagastizado, 26, of New York; Walter Jeovanny Rubio Lemus, 27, of Woodbridge; Juan Carlos Hernández Landaverde, 23, of Annandale; Karen Estefany Figueroa Alfaro, 29, of Woodbridge and Juan Manuel Vasquez Reyes, 40, of Manassas.
The indictment alleges that since 2017, the gang members regularly traveled to and from Long Island, New York, to obtain and bring back cocaine to the Washington area, where they and other gang members would sell it primarily, though not exclusively, in restaurants and nightclubs, the FBI release said.
The indictment charges eight of the defendants with a number of offenses stemming from their alleged involvement in the 2019 murders.
Guevara, Arevalo, and Turcios have been indicted in the June 22, 2019 murders of Milton Beltran Lopez, 40, and Jairo Geremeas Mayorga, 39, who were found dead of gunshot wounds in the woods off Featherstone Road in Woodbridge. Vasquez was indicted for allegedly helping them after they committed the murders, the FBI said.
Canales and Andrade are indicted in the Aug. 29, 2019 murder of Eric Lanier Tate II, 25, who was shot and killed while walking on Bel Air Road near Jeffries Road in Woodbridge.
Guevara, Molina and Aguilera have been indicted in the Sept. 24, 2019 murder of Antonio Kaoul Smith, 37, who was shot and killed while walking down Chesapeake Drive in Dumfries.
Other charges include racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering, witness tampering, using a firearm during a crime of violence causing death, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act, among other crimes, the news release said.