Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

MS-13 gang members convicted in gruesome murder of Leesburg teenager

Six members of the violent MS-13 gang, some of whom lived in Leesburg, were convicted today in federal court for their roles in a vicious murder, kidnapping and extortion conspiracy in northern Virginia, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, in April and May 2016, MS-13 gang members and associates Dublas Aristides Lazo, Lelis Ezequiel Tremino-Tobar, Carlos Benitez Pereira, Daniel Oswaldo Flores-Maravilla, Andres Alexander Velasquez-Guevara, Manuel Antonio Centeno, Wilmer Viera-Gonzalez and Miguel Zelaya-Gomez targeted Carlos Otero-Henriquez, an 18-year-old resident of Leesburg, because they believed Otero-Henriquez was a member of the rival 18th Street gang.

On May 21, 2016, the gang members lured Otero-Henriquez into a vehicle occupied by Lazo, Treminio-Tobar, Pereira, Flores-Maravilla, Centeno, Viera-Gonzalez and Zelaya-Gomez under the pretense that the group was going to a party, according to authorities. Instead, the group drove Otero-Henriquez to an isolated quarry near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The group severely beat, restrained and killed Otero-Henriquez, stabbing him with a knife more than 50 times.

Afterwards, the gang left Otero-Henriquez’s body in a nearby ditch and returned to the home of Shannon Sanchez in Leesburg.

Sanchez, another associate of the gang, helped them burn their clothes and destroy other evidence of the crime.

“The hallmark of MS-13 is extreme violence,” Tracy Doherty-McCormick, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a prepared statement. “This brutal kidnapping and murder is a tragic reminder of the impact MS-13 has on communities here in northern Virginia. My hope is that our efforts to investigate and prosecute this case will send a clear message: Violence will be aggressively prosecuted.”

According to authorities, from January 2016 through April 2016 Juan Carlos Guadron-Rodriguez, Wilmar Javier Viera-Gonzalez and Miguel Zelaya-Gomez engaged in a conspiracy to extort an individual victim residing in Leesburg. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants threatened violence to the victim and the victim’s family unless the victim made regular extortion payments to the gang.

The victim’s family contacted law enforcement, and the victim thereafter wore an FBI body wire to record extortion payments the victim made to Guadron-Rodriguez and Zelaya-Gomez in March and April 2016.

The FBI conducted surveillance of these payments in hopes of providing safety to the victim and to collect evidence against the gang. Through the investigative steps, the FBI was able to record and photograph Guadron-Rodriguez and Zelaya-Gomez in the act of taking extortion money from the victim.

Leesburg Chief of Police Gregory Brown said “this unfortunate and disturbing case serves as another example as to why law enforcement must not relent in pursuing criminal gangs such as MS-13.”

“Through our collaborative partnerships, we will continue to aggressively investigate and work with prosecutors to ensure violent gang members receive the maximum punishment as allowed by the law,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “It is important for those who choose to engage in criminal gang activity to know that they are not welcome in our communities.”

A total of 10 defendants were charged in this case. Of those, six defendants went to trial and were convicted of all charges, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Four defendants pleaded guilty prior to trial.

Lazo, Treminio-Tobar, Pereira, and Flores-Maravilla face a mandatory sentence of life in prison for kidnapping resulting in death, in addition to the sentences they receive for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering. Velasquez-Guevara faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Guadron-Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the five extortion charges for which he was convicted. Sanchez faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for accessory after the fact. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“This horrendous kidnapping and murder was a senseless and inhumane act committed by MS-13 members,” said Andrew W. Vale, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office. “Today's verdict sends a clear message that the FBI, along with our local, state and other federal law enforcement agencies, will hold violent gang members and murderers fully accountable for their actions.”

The Northern Virginia Gang Task Force, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington Field Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division and Fairfax County Police Department provided significant assistance during the investigation.

See more about the defendants and those involved in the case below:


Most immigrants from Hispanic countries are not criminals.  They clean houses, do landscaping, paint houses, nanny children and do backbreaking labor in agriculture among other jobs that native born Americans can’t or won’t do.  I bet most of you Hispanic immigrant haters benefit on a daily basis from the work performed by these folks.  Most are decent and honest in my experience.

“Trump should take measures to prevent both kinds of mass murders, and not ignore domestic terrorists, the ones who have killed the most people recently.” miami herald

all born & raised in the us - most recent 3 in last 5 mo

cruz massacred 17, wounded others at high school parkland fl
paddock killed 58, wounded > 500 at outdoor concert las vegas nv
kelley shot & killed 27 at church sutherland springs tx

cho shot & killed 32 at va tech blacksburg va
lanza gunned down 20 kids + 6 tchrs at sandy hook elem newton ct
roof shot & killed 9 at bible study charleston sc
mateen, shot & killed 49 at night club   orlando fl
mcveigh murdered 168 in bombing   oklahoma city, ok

and more. . .

harworkingamerican, so making up things are now the facts because you shouldn’t believe people who sit behind desk? They do studies and research and that is garbage and lies, but you know better? The ages coincide so the must be DACA? And it’s DACA because you don’t like the term dreamers? I suppose that people only crossed the border during Obamas terms, that is a great way to blame him. Are you aware that most gang crime is gang on gang? Are you also aware that they are less likely to commit crimes than people born here regardless of what trump says? You kinda had my attention, but then it seemed that it was just your opinion not reality, and you loss it.

all for seeing them prosecuted; went after their own, 1 dead

different from ch’ville - 100s of out-of-towners came to terrorize a whole town, 1 dead & many injured, mowed down by radicalized terrorist -  clear intent, then pretense in guise of 1st amendment

so a stacked committee of republicans in va house courts of justice put on blinders instead of protecting virginians

after nearly a month - 1/19/18 house:referred to committee for courts of justice, 2/15/18 left in courts of justice

“HB 1601 defines an act of domestic terrorism as “an act of violence committed against a person or his property with the intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, or that is committed against such person for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States.”

The Virginia bill provides a definition of “violent act,” a provision for providing material support to domestic terrorists, and civil liabilities for acts of domestic terrorism. It defines a violent act by referring to over 30 existing laws covering a wide-range of violent crimes including murder, assault, mob-related violence, kidnapping/abduction, bomb threats; shootings, stabbings, bombings, arson, among other criminal violations.”

amerigirl, the feds are not deporting kids here in the US illegally.  Nor basically any illegal that has not committed a serious crime.  That’s the problem.  At least Obama told his DHS to only focus on those with serious criminal records.  If all were deported, then we could increase the legal quotas.

golden, those are just the illegals from the recent waive of unaccompanied minors.  A good proxy for the number of illegals is the # of ESL students.  Loudoun has ~ 15.6% whereas Fairfax (29%) and Prince William (26%) have about 2x or close to 30%.  Legal immigrants learn English within a couple of years.  It takes much longer for the illegals.

I think Equity was referring to the mass shooting at the Army base to protest America’s involvement in wars against Christians.  That Christian terrorism is horrific.  Oh… wait.  That didn’t happen.  We did see a Muslim zealot turn his gun on his fellow soldiers though.

Or maybe Equity was talking about the Christian terrorist who mowed down dozens of pedestrians and bikers in NY.  Oh ... wait.  That didn’t happen either.  There was a Muslim terrorist that mowed down folks in NY city though.

Or Maybe Equity was talking about the spate of recent murders by Christian terrorists in NOVA using baseball bats and knives.  Oh ... wait.  That didn’t happen either but we have seen numerous such acts by MS-13 and illegal aliens.

Thanks for reminding us who actually poses a threat to our kids Equity.

davisB, so confused.  Let’s review.

1. Math and English are the 2 critical subjects in K-12.  Without a strong foundation, students won’t be successful.  They are also the 2 subjects used to measure effectiveness in teachers, schools, curricula, etc. since they are effectively continuous.

2. However, not all students need to learn calculus (nor even can effectively). 

3. Yet all students, even those who prefer drama, culinary arts, or plumbing, need a strong foundation in math.  Math is involved in nearly every profession.  And…

4. If students don’t get a strong foundation in math, they are precluded from seeking STEM careers.  Not that everyone must seek such a career, but they should have that door open if they are inclined entering high school.

5. That being said, vocational professions are valuable and can be lucrative.  Germany and other 1st-world countries have apprenticeship programs that provide alternate paths to college-track high school courses.  I have always supported such a model.  Apparently, most in Loudoun do so as well.

Notice what vocational studies are not.  They are not equivalent to art history, gender studies, or criminal justice degrees.  Good vocational courses teach students to problem solve and acquire valuable skills.  They should be promoted and offered in abundance.  And they should NOT require any academic test scores for admission.

americangirl - As for the evidence that they are illegal immigrants is that they are members of MS13, which I’ve already explained twice.

americangirl - Please see below…You’re just flat our wrong about these kids being enrolled in VA schools.

By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With less than a month until school starts in September, Virginia taxpayers will be footing the bill for some of the thousands of undocumented school-age children who have come here in recent months.

The Virginia Department of Education is echoing the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education in saying that schools “may not deny a free public education to undocumented school-age children who reside within their jurisdiction because they do not hold valid United States citizenship or a student visa.”

Last month, the VDOE sent memos to school superintendents reiterating the Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe, which said children have equal access to basic education, regardless of citizenship status.

And on Tuesday morning, the VDOE clarified in another email to school superintendents that undocumented minors, if unaccompanied and unsupervised, should be treated as homeless students and thus, granted an education without requiring proof of residing in the district.

“While a case-by-case review of each child’s circumstances upon enrolling in a Virginia public school is necessary, many of these unaccompanied children will be deemed homeless under applicable state and federal law,” reads an email to school superintendents from VDOE’s Juanita McHale on behalf of VDOE Superintendent Steven Staples. “School divisions must immediately enroll homeless students, even if those students are unable to produce the records required for enrollment.”

Amerigirl,  In 2014, the cost to house a federal prisoner was $30.6K annually.

Add up the collective years of the folks on this list.  Assume 45 years for each of the 8 life sentences, put another 40 for the other two, and you have 400 years.  Multiply by $40K a year (to account for in inflation over the next 4 decades) and it adds up to over $15M.

Criminals are expensive.

amerigirl - Fairfax in 2014 had 2,000 uncocumented students in their school system.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity has a message for President Obama and those in the federal government — reimburse us for the more than $14 million it will cost in this school year to educate the undocumented minors the feds placed with sponsors in Fairfax this year.

With nearly 200,000 students, Fairfax County Public Schools is bearing the fiscal brunt of educating about half of the roughly 2,000 undocumented minors who have been placed with sponsors — usually family members — in the commonwealth since January. Since non-English speakers cost more to educate than English speakers, Herrity and the school district estimate it will cost nearly $15,000 each to educate the more than 1,000 minors eligible to enroll in his county’s schools. Some estimates place that per-student cost even higher.

equity - This is domestic terrorism however we know you believe only white people can be domestic terrorists.

would be great if this much attn was also paid to domestic terrorism

amerigirl - They deport them after the sentence is finished not before.

If we only knew if they were illegal they could have them deported.

WesternSky, where did you come up with that figure to make it factual? If we only knew if they were illegal they could have them deported. Personally I’m glad they got the max, at least they won’t be on the streets.

Here’s an actual fact, WesternSky.  It’s going to take $15M of US citizen tax dollars to keep murderers off the streets and barred from re-entering our country for the rest of our lives.  You see, federal court = federal jail.


Here’ a fact.  It’s going to cost Virginia taxpayers $15 million dollars to keep these six 20 somethings in jail for the rest of their lives.

amerigirl - I say again, read the WP article for proof. The “hometowns” listed above are not where they were born as you elude to. Guevara had to speak through an interpreter and here’s a direct quote from the article “Treminio Tobar said he came to the United States from El Salvador four years ago to escape MS-13. But he became friends with a recruiter for the VLS…He got involved with the gang.”

Cmchale, not what I said at all. I gave an example of why illegals come here and said “To assume that they are illegal is just wrong, not saying that there aren’t any that are illegal.” Do you understand? The reason that some are here illegally or have sought legal asylum came here, which is to escape gangs, not join them, but there are exceptions. So, I ask again, where is the evidence?
You were right, I was wrong about the right to an education. Though it is still hard to get into a Virginia state school because the Code of Virginia is no student shall be admitted for the first time to any public school in any school division in Virginia unless the person enrolling the student shall present, upon admission, a certified copy of the student’s birth record. A photocopy of the child’s birth certificate will not meet this requirement

americangirl - I don’t think you understand how the system works.  The state/county are obligated to enroll kids whether they are documented or undocumented. Just because they are in school does not mean they are American or Legal Immigrants.  So that part of your post fails.

The other part of your post just makes no sense.  You wrote that illegal immigrants come here for various reason, but then say to assume they are illegal is wrong.  You yourself called them illegal!

Amerigirl - You are wrong about documentation and illegals going to school.

Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down both a state statute denying funding for education to illegal alien children and a municipal school district’s attempt to charge illegal aliens an annual $1,000 tuition fee for each illegal alien student to ...

americangirl - I’m not even sure where to start. I never said these criminals were “dreamers” but merely that they were likely to be illegals.

Your respond seems to imply that the middle school students are documented.  If that is your argument than you are very much uniformed as to what is required for a minor to be in our schools.  I strongly urge you to get off this site and spend sometime researching this issue. 

You seem to want to stand by your position regardless of how wrong you are.  I deal with this issue on a daily basis and it is frightening.

How was my comment any different from firefly’s? I think mine was rejected.

Cmchale, Still, where is the evidence? You shouldn’t be sticking a bunch of criminals into a category that is a varied as the Dreamers and blaming them for every crime.  In sticking to the facts MS13 likes to recruit middle schoolers (need documentation to be in school), often 1st generation Americans. Many illegal immigrants are coming here to escape the gangs or have refused to join a gang in their countries. To assume that they ae illegal is just wrong, not saying that there aren’t any that are illegal.
Loudoun4Trump, I’m sooooo glad you know how liberals think, such an authority. Tell me 1 liberal on the side of MS13?  That is like a liberal saying that all republicans are on the side with Russia.
Sterlinglocal,Tell me one liberal that defends MS13? No one champions the cause of violent people that I know, maybe in your group of friends. But I can tell you one thing, they target their own type of people more than anyone else. Maybe you should do some fact checking before the mouth running.

CousinSam - the data on illegals and crime is debatable. According to National Review and research into Scaap (reimbursements to state and local jurisdictions for incarcerating illegals) payments spanning 1985 to 2017. IN Arizona found illegals aged 18 to 35 committed 250% more crimes than native born people in the same age group and committed more serious crimes such as murder, robbery and sexual assault. In addition in Arizona, California, and New York, illegal aliens are convicted of homicide at dramatically higher rates than are native-born citizens and legal residents.

GAO reports from 2005 show that illegals commit approximately 3 times the number of crimes as the native born population, and the report from 2011 was equally as disturbing.

The studies that report that immigrants commit less crime lump both illegal and legal immigrants into one group. This completely distorts the data. Legal immigrants are not the problem. Illegal immigrants are. In addition these studies rely on self report. I don’t know about you but if we polled those in prison I’ll bet most of them will tell you they are innocent as the driven snow. Asking them if they committed a crime and expecting honesty seems a little well to be kind naive.

Well as usual a lot of talk that quotes “facts” but none of the facts even focus on what the issue is.  Once again if you do not know the background then you are only quoting garbage that comes from Oxford or anyone else that sits behind a desk or a diploma and spews their fabricated facts that suit their political narrative.  And now, the rest of the story.  Since no one and I mean no one knows how many illegals have come across the border under the Obama administrations policy of catch and release then any facts you have are not facts.  The ages of most of these criminals coincide with the ages of what people call DACA recipients, as Dreamers is a term that is used to describe any person who strives to achieve a goal that seems to be out of reach and this term applies to all.  Facts do not matter when you are dealing with these people that are in our schools because policies say we have to give them an education.  Yes!  In our schools.  Forget all the political garbage on both sides and focus.  Do I have your attention?  Focus on the fact that everyone is in danger with these elements running loose in our city and County. People must report these criminals, work with law enforcement, work with ICE, work with communities to expose, apprehend, prosecute, imprison and or deport.  Our schools must be given the funding to protect our children instead of putting safety on the back burner until some horrible thing happens.  No need to reply or comment as..you do not know what goes on…I do!  School security has been a third rate citizen when it comes to school budgets.  No matter how you come into this country there is only one way it should be done.  Legally!  Social media is the cesspool of hate, bullying, attacks and misinformation.  Threats on social media should be taken as fact until proven otherwise.  Hunt down these gang members who use social media as a recruitment tool and a weapon.  Just remember.  “For many to be safe and secure, few must give up their rights temporarily”.  This goes for anyone.  No one is above the law!!

americangirl - The reason you see a bunch of convictions but none for immigration is because that is a different legal proceeding altogether.  Yet you go with ” Stop making assumptions”. 

In sticking with the facts as you encourage people to do, MS13 is proven to target young illegal immigrants for membership, and not American born kids.  So if the individual is a member of MS13 I will assume that he/she is an illegal immigrant.

Liberals will defend these people to their own detriment. Dear Dems, Please fell free to champion the Cause of the very people who murder others on our streets while I see them for what they are; criminals who bring violence to our neighborhoods and schools.

Don’t you just feel like you are going to throw up in your mouth a little bit when a liberal says “just stick to the facts”?

I don’t expect LTM to do any research and their immigration status.

Since all democrats assume that these people are here legally they must be in mourning at all the lost votes for their party.

It’s not Dreamers.  It’s poverty in general that is the problem.

“In the context of crime, victimization, and immigration in the United States, research shows that people are afraid of immigrants because they think immigrants are a threat to their safety and engage in many violent and property crimes. However, quantitative research has consistently shown that being foreign born is negatively associated with crime overall and is not significantly associated with committing either violent or property crime. If an undocumented immigrant is arrested for a criminal offense, it tends to be for a misdemeanor. Researchers suggest that undocumented immigrants may be less likely to engage in serious criminal offending behavior because they seek to earn money and not to draw attention to themselves.”

- Immigration and Crime; Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

David Dickinson, I don’t hear anyone defending them, but then again I hear a bunch of you saying that they are illegal. PROVE IT! Stop making assumptions and thinking that because you are conservative you are right. Can we get a little truth into these comments! I see a bunch of convictions listed and not one of them has to do with immigration. So stop puffing out you chest saying you know things you don’t, and knowing what caused them when you don’t and stick to the facts.

amerigirl - read the WP article for proof. The “hometowns” listed above are not where they were born as you elude to. Guevara had to speak through an interpreter and here’s a direct quote from the article “Treminio Tobar said he came to the United States from El Salvador four years ago to escape MS-13. But he became friends with a recruiter for the VLS…He got involved with the gang.”

Chuckles, liberals defend these criminals indirectly every time they attempt to stop an initiative to eradicate the criminal aliens among us or when the defend illegal aliens who are, by definition, criminals for being here illegally.

Clown, can you tell which “dreamers” are going to commit crimes?  Which of the unaccompanied minors who entered the country as grissled 16 and 17-yr-olds are gangsters?  But wait, they have no “record” so they must be good hard-working “attributes” to our society, right?

We need to enforce illegal immigration laws.  If you want to allow more unskilled labor into the country, pass a law.  But these “dreamers” present a real risk to Loudoun citizens.  Much more so than the fake threats that get 500+ attendees at a “protest”.

TheLaugher, why do you think they are dreamers? Because Virginia SGP said so? Prove it!! They could have been born here just like MS-13 was born in California.

Laugher, I challenge you to show a single “crazy liberal” who’s defended these horrific actions.

Virginia SGP, prove it! What makes you think they were dreamers? I believe their hometowns are listed in the chart above.
wwwebbs, agree!

According to the Democrats no one has even heard of MS-13…just remember, liberals are on the side of MS-13 and will do anything to keep this voting block in the US…

Juan Carlos will be out when he’s 48, yeah !!!

What is the immigration status of each gang member?  I would think the Leesburg and larger LTM community would want to know.  Not PC to print it though, is it?

There should be a rider attached to all sentencing requiring mandatory death penalty for all gang related violent crimes. Much as killing a police officer carries the “Capital Murder” charge, so too should these types of crimes.

And we have many elected Leesburg officials that are out to protect these Dreamers who are intent on no good?  Enough pandering to these folks. Many liberals have made Trump and any Republicans the enemy. I say the enemy are crazy liberals who defend these horrific actions while making conservatives their enemy.


Post a comment

By submitting a comment, you agree to our Terms of Service.

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at ltmeditor@loudountimes.com.

More News

The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.