ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- A federal indictment unsealed on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia revealed that 11 members and associates of the gang MS-13 have been charged with the 2016 murders of two teenagers in Fairfax County.
The bodies of the two, Edvin Escobar Mendez, 17, of Falls Church, Va. and Sergio Arita Triminio, 14, Alexandria, Va., were found buried in Holmes Run Park in March 2017.
The indictment alleged that in August 2016, Elmer Zelaya Martinez aka “Killer”, 27, Erick Palacios Ruiz aka “Cara de Malo”, 20, Ronald Herrera Contreras, aka “Speedy”, 20, and Josue Vigil Mejia, aka “Horror”, 21, conspired with each other and with others to lure Mendez to Holmes Run Park in order to attack and kill him because they believed he was a member of a rival gang.
Once Mendez was killed, the indictment alleged that the four defendants and their co-conspirators buried Mendez in the park.
The indictment also alleged that in September 2016, Martinez, Ruiz, Contreras, Henry Zelaya Martinez, aka “Certero”, 24, Oscar Contreras Aguilar, aka “Atrevido”, 20, Yonathan Melgar Martinez, aka “Oso”, 21, Pablo Miguel Barrera Velasco, aka “Oscuro”, 20, Anderson Villatoro aka “Enterrado”, 21, Francisco Avila Avalos, aka “Picador”, 20, and Fredys Baires Abarca, aka “Lil Clandestino”, 20, conspired with each other and with others to lure Triminio to the same park and attack and kill him because they thought he was cooperating with law enforcement.
Triminio's body was also buried after the attack.
All of the defendants are from El Salvador.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Virginia said that ten of the men are in custody, while the eleventh (the spokesperson would not say which one it was) is believed to have fled the country.
All of the men are facing a conspiracy to kidnap charge, except for Aguilar, who is also facing a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering charge.
But the spokesperson added that a superseding indictment is coming as prosecutors are seeking approval to charge death eligible offenses.