Police: 3 MS-13 gang members charged in Raymond Wood's death
BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- Three MS-13 gang members have been detained and charged in the death of 17-year-old Raymond Wood, Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown announced Friday afternoon.
Sheriff Brown didn't say how Wood died but said the killing was not a random act and had a connection to "narcotics-related activity."
There is no current concern for the safety for the general public in Lynchburg or Bedford County, according to a joint statement from both Sheriff Brown and Lynchburg Police Chief Raul Diaz.
Sheriff Brown says the motorist who found Wood's body on Roaring Run Rd. saw an older-model Honda Accord with one occupant drove by at a high rate of speed towards Rt. 221.
Brown says the responding deputy met the Honda near Virginia Memorial Park on Rt. 221. The driver of the Honda identified himself as Victor Rodas, 19, of Lynchburg. While talking with Rodas, Sheriff Brown says the deputy learned that Rodas was an illegal alien. Rodas was subsequently detained and taken to Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Brown says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was contacted Tuesday morning.
Tuesday morning, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office learned there was report for a missing 17-year-old male from Lynchburg filed earlier that morning.
Later Tuesday afternoon, the Medical Examiner identified the body found on Roaring Run Rd. as the missing 17-year-old Raymond Wood.
Sheriff Brown says it was determined Wood did not leave Lynchburg voluntarily.
Just after 8 a.m. Tuesday, a local Bedford County resident called the Bedford County Sheriff's Office to report that two Hispanic males approached him and asked him to make a call for them with his cell phone.
After the phone call, Sheriff Brown said a small sports car, driven by a Hispanic male, showed up and picked the two males up. A short time later, Sheriff Brown says the same vehicle returned and two more Hispanic males appeared out of hiding and left at a high rate of speed.
The same resident said the car headed towards Lynchburg on Rt. 221.
Dispatchers subsequently put out a description of the car and minutes later deputies found the car on Rt. 221 and stopped it on Cottontown Rd. in Forest.
Sheriff Brown says the vehicle was occupied by three Hispanic males. Two of the three occupants in the car, including Jose Coreas-Ventura, who is wanted for a murder in Maryland, were determined to be illegal aliens, Brown says.
The three occupants, along with the vehicle were transported to the Bedford County Sheriff's Office.
On Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrived at Bedford County and detained Rodas and Lisandro Vasquez, 24 and transported them to Roanoke City Jail. Coreas-Ventura was taken to Blue Ridge Regional Jail and is being held on the Maryland murder charge.
The driver of the vehicle was not detained.
All three detained males are known MS-13 gang members and illegal aliens, Sheriff Brown says.
He says authorities obtained second-degree murder warrants for 19-year-old Rodas and 21-year-old Corea-Ventura, both of Lynchburg, and 24-year-old Vasquez of Maryland.
At this time, some questions still remain unanswered; such as, why Wood was killed and why second-degree murder charges were obtained over first-degree.
The sheriff says the investigation is still on going.