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Authorities arrest sixth MS-13 member accused in Virginia teen’s murder

January 5, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest sixth MS-13 member accused in Virginia teen’s murder

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A sixth suspect has been apprehended for the MS-13-related murder in Virginia, of 19-year-old Guillermo Hernandez Leyva back in 2015.

Investigators recovered the remains of the teen with links to the infamously violent MS-13 in the woods in Woodbridge in September 2015.

Federal authorities said Leyva had been beaten and stabbed to death.

His relatives reported him missing three months prior. Police discovered the teen’s remains while investigating another case.

Officers arrested the latest suspect, 21-year-old Jose Elias Ayala-Gomez, earlier this week in Maryland and will be extradited to Virginia, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Five additional suspects were arrested in 2017 in Texas, Indiana, New Jersey, and Maryland and remain in custody.

Carlos Ulises Ochoa Pineda was previously charged in connection with the MS-13 gang-related murder of a 19-year-old man from Montgomery County. (Courtesy of Prince William County Police)

The other defendants who have been charges are Wilians Ernesto Lovos Ayala (24) and Michael Alexander Campos Lemus (23) in New Jersey; Vilas Sail Arugueta Bermudez (30) in Texas; Daniel Alexander Flores Ventura (24) in Indiana; and Carlos Ulises Ochoa Pineda (23) in Maryland.

Police officials in multiples states collaborated with Homeland Security, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Marshals.

“MS-13 is not only the largest gang in the United States; it is the most violent and well-organized,” an official with the FBI said the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence.

William F. Sweeney, Jr., the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office, told the committee that gangs in general “show no signs of decreasing memberships or decline in criminal activity.” In fact, based on the FBI’s 2015 National Gang Report, membership in gangs expanded between 2013 to 2015 in 49% of jurisdictions. Sweeney added that the FBI alleges that there could be up to 10,000 MS-13 members of living in the U.S.

Although the heads of the MS-13 is based in El Salvador and Honduras, the group heads in the U.S. coordinate both locally and internationally, Sweeney added. “They discuss targets, members who have fallen out of favor, and ways to expand operations.”

The FBI assistant director said that the group has “gained notoriety” because of their “brutal nature.” “Their motivation is a rooted in a desire to kill for the sake of killing. The attacks on their victims are gruesome. They involve mutilation and dismemberment and are sometimes recorded.”

MS-13 members often recruit children who are illegals. Sweeney added that MS-13 members are “much younger than those connected to other gangs.” They take “cues from the gang instead of relying on a family structure. Also, those emigrating from El Salvador to the United States are known to be exposed and desensitized to violence at an early age.”

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