File Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Five illegal aliens who are part of the MS-13 gang were charged in connection with the brutal murder of a Maryland woman who was beaten to death and buried in June and unearthed in September.
Maryland authorities discovered the body of 21-year-old Jenni B, Rivera in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Annapolis, the Baltimore Sun reported. The victim was allegedly lured to her death and then beaten by Ervin Figueroa, Brenda Argueta, Ronald Mendez Sosa, Darvin Guerra-Zacarias, and Francisco Ramirez-Pena, all five members of the MS-13 who have immigration detainers on them. Each had varying degrees of participation with two carrying out the actual murder.
The victim had been reported missing on June 28 as the case remained unsolved until an anonymous source led authorities to key evidence in the case.
In response to the gang killing and other bodies discovered in the area, Tim Altomare, the police chief in Anne Arundel County, reached out to residents but disclosed little information in connection to the three victims he was referring to, nor to the gang activity.
“If you’re in fear, if you think a gang wants to hurt you, I’m begging you to come and talk to us,” Altomare said. “Your lives matter to us, it’s our job to keep you safe, we take it seriously, and we will move heaven and earth to get you the help you need if you need help to stay safe.”
The murders took place over the past three to five weeks in separate locations. Although the identity of the gang was not revealed, members of the community familiar with the investigation have identified the gang as MS-13. Anne Arundel County officials recently announced the creation of a gang task force, a combination of officers from the county and Annapolis, as well as FBI agents.
Law enforcement officials nationwide are targeting MS-13 members, many of which are illegal aliens with violent criminal records. In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Treasury labeled the group a “transnational criminal organization,” the first such designation for a street gang. Many law enforcement agencies are developing plans to fight the spread of MS-13 violence–but these problems are compounded by sanctuary policies that allow criminal alien gangs to gain a foothold on U.S. soil.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)