8 alleged MS-13 gang members, with ties to Bedford Co. case, indicted for 4 murders
GREENBELT, Md. (WSET) -- A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed Wednesday charging eight men, alleged to be MS-13 gang members, with conspiracy in racketeering operation in Maryland.
The Department of Justice said the eight men range in age from 18-22 and are alleged to be members of the Sailors Clique of La Mara Salvatrucha, known as MS-13, and are charged with four murders, extortions, and drug and gun trafficking from 2015 to 2017.
The eight men are in custody and have been identified in the statement as:
- Carlos Roberto Tejada Cruz, a/k/a “Krusty,” age 20, of Beltsville, Maryland;
- Kevin Alexis Hernandez-Guevara, a/k/a “Stop,” age 20, of Landover Hills, Maryland;
- Rolando Aristides Juarez-Vasquez, a/k/a “Virus,” a/k/a “Daffy,” age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland;
- Jeffry Rodriguez, a/k/a “Hyper,” age 21, of Beltsville, Maryland;
- Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente,” a/k/a “Trankilo,” age 20, of Landover, Maryland;
- Michael Eduardo Contreras, a/k/a “Katra,” a/k/a “Insoportable,” age 22, of Silver Spring, Maryland;
- Luis Fernando Orellana-Estrada, a/k/a “Pinguino,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland; and
- Donald Roberto Mendez-Lopez, a/k/a “Chuckie,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland.
Officials said for more than two years, the Sailors Clique allegedly extorted owners of illegal businesses, in Maryland and sent the money to MS-13 in El Salvador.
They said the gang members also trafficked marijuana and cocaine in Langley Park, according to the indictment.
The Justice Department said the group was led by Alvarado-Requeno on June 16, 2016 to murder an individual believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang in Maryland.
In March, 2017, the indictment said Contreras directed gang members to go to Bedford County and murder Raymond Wood.
Josue Coreas-Ventura, 20, and Lisandro Posada-Vasquez, 24, are charged with capital murder, robbery, abduction for pecuniary benefit, and participation in a criminal act in association with a criminal street gang.
The third defendant Victor Arnoldo Rodas, age 19, has been charged with first degree murder, robbery, abduction for pecuniary benefit, and participation in a criminal act in association with a criminal street gang.
According to the Justice Department statement:
Alvarado-Requino, Tejada-Cruz, Hernandez-Guevara, and Juarez-Vasquez face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Rodriguez, Contreras, Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez face a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Tejada-Cruz and Hernandez-Guevara also face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez also face a maximum of twenty years in prison for conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion.
Contreras is also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion, which carries a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.