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Frederick murder case considers whether Facebook messages are protected from search and seizure

A man charged with killing a Frederick County resident in an alleged MS-13 gang hit contended that police violated his rights when they seized his Facebook account and searched his apartment.

This month, Raul Ernesto Landaverde Giron joined co-defendants, other accused gang members. They asked the U.S. District Court of Maryland to disregard evidence collected from social media accounts, arguing that the Fourth Amendment protected the private communications against search and seizure.

Defense attorneys noted that the Maryland federal district court had not yet considered whether Facebook messages are protected under the law, but other federal courts had said private messages on the social media site are entitled to Fourth Amendment protection.

Behind the rise in seemingly chaotic MS-13 violence: A structured hierarchy.

A 34-year-old was lured to woods in suburban Maryland, where assailants armed with knives had already dug his grave. A 22-year-old, also taken into a wooded area, was ordered to his knees and shot in the face. An 18-year-old, ambushed near a stream, was stabbed and stoned as he crawled into the water and died under a bridge of the Capital Beltway.

The shocking slayings 18 months ago signaled a resurgence in Montgomery County of the notorious MS-13 gang. Now, with federal racketeering cases underway for three suspects arrested in connection with the killings, court documents lay out a brutal chain of command that law enforcement says drives the violence.

Organized in local MS-13 units called “cliques,” the Maryland gangs put prospective members under long periods of “observations” before allowing them in. Ascension in the gang involves at least five rank designations, according to federal court records, with clique leaders using social media and coded words to stay in constant contact with superiors in the United States and El Salvador.

Search warrant: Suspects in gang-related murder recorded killing of 15-year-old girl

WASHINGTON - A search warrant affidavit is laying out new details in the gang-related murder of a 15-year-old Maryland girl in Fairfax County. It reveals one of the victim's alleged killers was wearing a court-ordered GPS tracking device at the time of the murder and the killing was recorded on a cellphone camera.

Fairfax County police had previously said there was video evidence in this murder case and this search warrant affidavit describes in detail what was recorded when Damaris Reyes Rivas was killed back in January.

The affidavit says the recording is "date-stamped January 8, 2017" and depicts “the interrogation and taunting of the victim by several males."

This document also reveals the motive in Rivas’ murder. It said she was killed in retaliation for the gang-related murder of 21-year-old Christian Sosa Rivas, whose body was found washed up on the banks of the Potomac River in Dumfries, Virginia.

18-year-old cousin of girl allegedly killed in gang violence now missing

GAITHERSBURG, MD (WUSA9) - Montgomery County Police Department is looking for an 18-year-old girl who they say is the cousin of a 15-year-old who was recently allegedly killed in a gang-related murder.

Angelica Ivania Barahona-Rivas, 18 was last seen at the Wok Express, where she works, at 9615 Lost Knife Road around 9 p.m. Saturday night.

Police believe she left work before her shift ended.

Authorities confirmed that this missing woman is the cousin of the murdered 15-year-old, Alexandra Reyas Rivas.

Family and friends told police they have not been able to contact Angelica and are concerned. Police believe she may be in the New Jersey area.

She is about 5’3” tall and 150 pounds. She was last seen wearing a tan shirt, tan skirt, a grey jacket and black boots. She was carrying a pink purse.

Alleged gang graffiti removed from west Baltimore school

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Graffiti has been removed from a west Baltimore school, after at least a month on the playground.

Police say 'EA' is a gang tag for the Edmondson Avenue Bloods, a gang whose alleged kingpin and seven others were indicted earlier this month.

The 'EA' spray paint was on Roots & Branches School on Harlem Avenue when FOX45 covered the gang indictments Feb. 7.

"It's ridiculous. I don't understand it. I really didn't know it was even there or paid it no mind because it is so much all over the place," Kendra Siscoe said. "It's really scary. Nobody should have to deal with that."

MS-13 Gang Connected To Several Disappearances Of Young Girls In Md.

BALTIMORE(WJZ) — One of the nation’s most violent gangs is connected to a rash of kidnappings of young girls in our region, and likely, a murder. Authorities say they’re recruiting children as young as 11-years-old.

WJZ Investigative reporter Mike Hellgren has the latest on the action being taken against MS-13.

Federal authorities had cracked down on the gang more than a decade ago. Many members did go to prison, but now there is a resurgence.

The gang is believed to be connected to the disappearance of several teenage girls, and one Gaithersburg teen was murdered.

15-year-old Damaris Reyes left violence in El Salvador for safety in Maryland, but the notoriously violent MS-13 gang lured her in, and after a falling out, police found her body dumped in the woods.

Her murder was caught on camera, and was so vicious even police wouldn’t describe what happened.

Richmond Sheriff says gang activity is reaching dangerous levels

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s sheriff, C.T. Woody, has spent his career fighting the war against gangs. He says after decades of falling gang activity in our area, it’s reaching dangerous levels again.

Woody has been Richmond’s top deputy for 11 years. In 1968 he started his career walking the streets of Richmond fighting the worst gangs the city has ever seen.

In the 70’s, Woody helped bring down the Briley Brothers, who were responsible for killing at least 11 people in Richmond and pulled off the largest death-row escape in U.S. History.

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