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17 MS-13 Members Arrested In Massive Blow To Deadly Gang: DA

Seventeen MS-13 gang members on Long Island and around the country were arrested in an operation that spanned multiple states and countries and led to the arrest of the leader of MS-13 in the Northeast and stopped $1 million of heroin from reaching the streets, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Thursday.

The 17 alleged gang members, many of whom have not been named because of pending extradition, are all charged with various crimes, including second-degree murder, operating as a major trafficker and second-degree conspiracy. But all 17 face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top charges against them.

Among those arrested was the alleged leader of MS-13's operations in the Northeast, along with many other high-ranking gang members. In addition, the investigation exposed the gangs domestic and international connections and business methods. Singas said it was a massive blow to the criminal organization that was one of the biggest gang takedowns her office has ever seen.

Frederick teen pleads guilty to May machete assault

A Frederick teenager accused of attacking two other young men with a machete as they exited a school bus pleaded guilty Wednesday morning.

Alejandro Daniel Rodriguez, 17, was sentenced to 18 months in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree assault and one count of participating in a criminal gang.

Rodriguez and another Frederick teenager were accused of attacking two others with a machete near Key Parkway and Waverley Drive.

Witnesses told police they saw two young men attack two others getting off a public school bus around 2:45 p.m. One of the suspects, later identified as Rodriguez, tried to hit the victims with a machete, witnesses said.


 

Murder Charges Dropped Against Second Suspect in MS-13 Killing; New Charges Possible

Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against both teens who were arrested in connection to the September stabbing death of a man in a Silver Spring park.

With the charges dropped against 18-year-old Jesus Ponce Flores on Friday, no one is currently facing charges for the death of Cristopher Alfredo Funes Guerra, a 20-year-old from Silver Spring. However, prosecutors could charge Ponce Flores and the other suspect again or could indict them on charges related to the homicide.

“I can confirm that the murder charge has been entered nolle prosequi for further investigation,” Ramón Korionoff, a spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office said, using a legal term for when charges are abandoned without declaring the defendant to be not guilty. He declined to comment further.

'See you in hell': Female MS-13 gang member, 18, pleads guilty to revenge killing of the 15-year-old girl she believed was responsible for her boyfriend's murder

A teen female MS-13 gang member has pleaded guilty to the revenge killing of another girl after telling her she 'would see her in hell' and stabbing her in savage vengeance for her own boyfriend's death.

Venus Romero Iraheta, 18, pleaded guilty to the murder in Fairfax County, Virginia on Monday, one year to the day after brutally stabbing 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas 13 times.

Prosecutors said Iraheta was the main aggressor in the gruesome gang torture and slaying, which was captured on cell phone video. A total of 10 people have been charged in the murder.

Iraheta, then 17, believed Damaris had lured her boyfriend, Christian Sosa Rivas, to his death.


A look ahead with Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy: MS-13, opioid epidemic, scams

WASHINGTON - FOX 5 is taking a look ahead at our region and the issues local governments are focusing on in 2018 and how they could affect you.

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy joined us on FOX 5 News to discuss different topics impacting the Maryland county along with questions submitted by FOX 5 viewers.

Last year, McCarthy expressed his frustration with the current laws to combat gangs. He reiterated those beliefs in this New Year. “I think we need better tools in Maryland legislatively to allow us to address some of the gang violence,” he said. “We need some new gang statutes. What has really caught our attention is specific to some numbers. We are a jurisdiction that was almost immune to gang violence when it came to homicide, but yet in the last two years, we have had over 21 gang-related homicides in Montgomery County. That is a shocking number to us.


 

Teenage gang members behind Christmas slaying, Nassau cops say

Two teenage Bloods gang members — one acting as a “spotter” and the other firing the gun in an attack meant to strike rival gang members — fatally shot an innocent father as he walked to pick up his 11-year-old daughter on Christmas night, police said Wednesday.

Antoine Foster, 17, of Hempstead, identified by police as the shooter, is still at large, and police described him as “dangerous,” and possibly armed with the 9-mm handgun used to kill Rafael Cepeda, 35, of Hempstead.

Shameq Sullins, 16, of Terrace Avenue in Hempstead, who police called the “spotter,” was arrested Tuesday night by Nassau homicide detectives with the assistance of the Hempstead police department.

2017 homicide data provide insight into Baltimore's gun wars, police say

Of the 343 people killed in Baltimore in 2017, 88 percent were killed with a firearm, including 295 with a handgun and six with a shotgun or rifle, according to Baltimore Police data released Wednesday

About 86 percent of the victims and 85 percent of the 118 suspects identified by police had prior criminal records. And about 46 percent of victims and 44 percent of suspects had previously been arrested for gun crimes, the data show.

Of the guns used, the “overwhelming majority of them are going to be illegally possessed,” said T.J. Smith, a police spokesman.

Smith said the numbers, from the department’s annual homicide analysis, support what the department has been saying: that “the weapon of choice for bad guys in Baltimore is the handgun,” that “repeat violent offenders” are routinely behind the violence, and that often, “today’s victim is yesterday’s suspect, and today’s suspect can be tomorrow's victim.”

6th man with ties to MS-13 arrested in murder of Md. teen

WASHINGTON — A sixth man has been charged in the death of a teen with gang ties who was found murdered in Prince William County more than two years ago.

Jose Elias Ayala-Gomes, 21, of Rockville, is charged with murder in the death of Guillermo Hernandez Leyva, 19, of Montgomery County, Maryland. He was taken into custody last Dec. 28 and is awaiting extradition from Maryland.

All the suspects, and the victim, have ties to the street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, the Prince William County police said. Ayala-Gomes joins a list of suspects arrested from New Jersey, Indiana and Texas.

Sanctuary policy blamed for murder of MS-13 gang member released from jail

A Maryland county’s refusal to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have led to an alleged MS-13 gang member’s death two days after he was released from jail.

Jose Herrera, 18, was initally arrested and charged in October by the Montgomery County Police Department with fourth-degree burglary and trespassing after he was found squatting in a vacant home with others believed to be members of the ruthless MS-13 gang, WJLA reported.

MS-13 VICTIM WAS STABBED 100 TIMES, DECAPITATED, HAD HEART RIPPED OUT, POLICE SAY

The gang reportedly took the vacated home and made it into a “hideout with graffiti, a built-in bar and shrine to the ‘Saint of Death,’” NBC Washington reported. The home was scheduled to be demolished in order to pave the way for the Purple Line rail project.

Herrera, a native of Honduras, traveled into the U.S. illegally and was given a criminal summons for the October arrest but a warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court.

A 14-year-old told of a teen’s killing by MS-13. Then, he disappeared too.

The family of Edvin Mendez had been desperately searching for the missing teen for nearly a month when his brother reached out to an acquaintance of Mendez’s on Facebook looking for help, according to newly unsealed search warrants.

Sergio Triminio, 14, agreed to meet the brother in September 2016 and told him a chilling story: Edvin, 17, of Falls Church, had been abducted by MS-13 and killed because they thought he was a spy for their archrival, the 18th Street gang.

The next day Sergio disappeared, too, after leaving his family’s Alexandria apartment in his pajamas to take out the trash, the court documents say. He was also targeted by MS-13, possibly for speaking with Mendez’s brother.

Brentwood school officials stress safety after MS-13 arrests

Brentwood school officials have alerted parents to the recent arrests of three alleged MS-13 gang members and two associates, including local high school students, with assurances that their children’s safety is the “number-one priority,” officials said in a districtwide robo-call.

That communication came just hours after Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini announced Thursday that Suffolk police had thwarted an MS-13 plot to abduct a 16-year-old boy near Brentwood High School’s Ross Center on Wednesday.

Police have said that four of the suspects — three males and one female — are students at Brentwood High.

Brentwood school officials said student records showed three of those four students were currently enrolled. They were trying to validate records of a fourth.

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