MS-13 Gang Members Charged with Multiple Violent Crimes | USAO-EDVA

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal indictment was unsealed here today charging three MS-13 gang members for their roles in multiple violent crimes including a 2017 murder in Charlottesville and two 2019 attempted murders in Prince William County.

According to allegations in the indictment, Andy Tovar, 31, of White Post, was the First Word or leader of the Guanacos Lil Cycos Salvatruchas (GLCS) clique of MS-13, while Roberto Cruz Moreno, 20, of Woodbridge, was a pasa de homeboy or soldier in the GLCS clique, and Kevin Perez Sandoval, 22, of Warrenton, was an observacion or associate in the GLCS clique.

In July 2017, Tovar allegedly authorized members and associates of the GLCS clique to travel from Prince William County to Charlottesville to murder an individual the GLCS clique believed was a rival gang member. At Tovar’s direction, on or about July 3, 2017, four members of the GLCS clique stabbed Victim-1 to death over 140 times using knives and a machete before they dumped Victim-1’s body in a river, burned his car, and fled back to Prince William County.

In March 2019, Cruz Moreno allegedly picked up three other members or associates of GLCS and Victim-2 and drove them to an isolated wooded area in Bristow, where one associate of GLCS shot Victim-2 multiple times and another associate of GLCS stabbed Victim-2 because members and associates of GLCS believed Victim-2 was disrespecting MS-13. Following the attempted murder, Cruz Moreno fled the scene with the three other GLCS participants and drove them to his residence.

In April 2019, local law enforcement officers in Fairfax County allegedly found Cruz Moreno, an illegal alien, in possession of the same firearm used to shoot Victim-2, and several grams of packaged cocaine in his vehicle with three other associates of GLCS. Cruz Moreno obtained the cocaine from Tovar and had been selling the cocaine on behalf of the clique earlier that day.

In August 2019, members and associates of GLCS identified Victim-3 as a rival gang member living in GLCS controlled territory and Tovar allegedly authorized members and associates of GLCS to kill Victim-3. On Aug. 12, 2019, Perez Sandoval and two members or associates of GLCS observed Victim-3 at a laundromat in Manassas and sought Tovar’s permission to kill Victim-3 at the laundromat. After Tovar allegedly granted permission to conduct the killing at the laundromat, Perez Sandoval drove the two members or associates of MS-13 to retrieve a firearm, and back to the laundromat area where Victim-3 was shot before Perez Sandoval drove them from the scene of the shooting.

Name, Age

Hometown

Charges

Andy Tovar, 31

White Post

Counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11

Roberto Cruz Moreno, 20

Woodbridge

Counts 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12-14

Kevin Perez Sandoval, 22

Warrenton

Counts 1, 4, 7, 9, 11

 

Count

Charge

1

Conspiracy to Participate in a Racketeering Enterprise

2-4

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering Activity

5

Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

6, 7

Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering Activity

8, 9

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering Activity

10, 11

Using and Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

12

Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine

13

Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

14

Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Alien

 

Tovar, Cruz Moreno, and Perez Sandoval each face a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years and a maximum penalty of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John J. Durham, Director of the Justice Department’s Joint Task Force Vulcan; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Ron L. Lantz, Chief of Albemarle County Police; Douglas W. Keen, Chief of Manassas City Police; Jarad L. Phelps, Acting Chief of Prince William County Police; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; Michael P. Kochis, Chief of Warrenton Police; and Robert P. Mosier, Fauquier County Sheriff, made the announcement.

This case was brought by the Eastern District of Virginia in coordination with JTFV. In August 2019, Attorney General William Barr created JTFV to carry out the recommendations of the MS-13 subcommittee formed under the Attorney General’s Transnational Organized Crime Task Force, which was the result of President Trump’s February 2017 Executive Order directing the Departments of Justice, State, and Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, such as MS-13, and restore safety for the American people. The principal purpose of JTFV is to coordinate and lead the efforts of the Justice Department and United States law enforcement agencies against MS-13 in order to dismantle the group.

JTFV has successfully implemented the whole-of-government approach to law enforcement relating to MS-13; increased coordination and collaboration with foreign law enforcement partners, including El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala; designated priority MS-13 programs, cliques and leaders, who have the most impact on the United States for targeted prosecutions; and coordinated significant MS-13 indictments in U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country. In addition, all Department of Justice law enforcement agencies are involved in the effort – the FBI; DEA; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); U.S. Marshals Service; and the Bureau of Prisons. The Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations has also played a critical role in JTFV.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas U. Murphy II and Nicholas J. Patterson are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-18.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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