Three illegal immigrants who police believe are members of the notorious MS-13 gang have been charged in a case involving kidnapping and murder.
The three illegals, all from El Salvador, were part of a “murder ring” that authorities say were responsible for as many as ten murders in the Las Vegas area, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
The illegal aliens were initially arrested a year ago in connection to several murders, but these latest indictments were in connection to an especially brutal murder the gang committed.
According to the Daily Caller, a federal grand jury issued a three-count indictment against Jose Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, Miguel Torres-Escobar, and David Arturo Perez-Manchame. The charges include murder in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and causing death through the use of a firearm.
Authorities say the three kidnapped and murdered Arquimides Sandoval-Martinez, a rival gang member, in March of 2018. They kidnapped him outside of a Las Vegas club and drove him to the desert. They then hit him repeatedly with a machete and then shot him, killing him. Police believe they then continued to hack at his body after he died, as he was found badly mutilated.
When the three were arrested, they were found with a large knife, a bloodstained baseball hat and three handguns.
Even with the arrests, Las Vegas police believe there are still about 50 MS-13 gang members still operating in the area. They say the gang is operated from individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
MS-13 originated in the late 1970s in Los Angeles, and initially was formed to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other gangs in the Los Angeles area. Since then, however, MS-13 has become a major criminal organization, operating in most major American cities. Federal authorities estimate there are over 10,000 MS-13 members operating in the United States, mostly foreign nationals from El Salvador and neighboring countries. Their motto is “rape, control, kill.”
MS-13 has earned a reputation for being one of the most brutal gangs operating in the United States. Last year, New York City police say an illegal immigrant member of MS-13 raped an 11-year-old girl. In 2017, an illegal alien MS-13 member was arrested in the decapitation murder of a Maryland man.
President Trump has made MS-13 a focal point of his arguments for stricter immigration policy, pointing out that many gang members enter the country illegally. He also points out that many have been apprehended at the border, only to be released because of the “catch and release” policy that he has ended during his administration.
Here is local news coverage of the initial arrests last year.
A trial date has not yet been set.
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