Eleven MS-13 gang members have been charged with the kidnapping and murder of two teenage boys from Virginia, announced the Department of Justice on Friday. All the gang members who have been charged are in their 20s and originally from El Salvador, though it’s unclear if they are legally or illegally in the United States.
Seventeen-year-old Edvin Escobar Mendez and 14-year-old Sergio Arita Triminio have been identified as the victims.
In a statement to Townhall, U.S. Attorney’s Office Director of Communications for the Eastern District of Virginia Joshua Stueve said, “While we note in the press release that all of the defendants are from El Salvador, we did not include any information as to their immigration status.”
Ten of those charged are currently being held in a federal detention center while one still remains at large, though he’s suspected to have fled the U.S.
The indictment revealed that four gang members conspired to lure Mendez to a park in Fairfax Country to murder him in August 2016. The 17-year-old was allegedly in a rival gang. “After killing him and to conceal evidence linking them to the juvenile’s disappearance and murder, these four defendants and their co-conspirators buried the juvenile’s remains,” reports ABC 13 WSET News.
Additionally, in September 2016, nine gang members lured Triminio to the same Fairfax County park to be murdered. MS-13 suspected the 14-year-old was cooperating with law enforcement. Triminio’s remains were buried, too.
“The charges are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing crackdown on the violent, transnational gang. Prosecutors are seeking DOJ approval to charge death eligible offenses,” reports Townhall.