Six MS-13 gang members charged in Maryland man’s murder

Victor Antonio Turcios-Valle, 37, was found in a shallow grave in June

Authorities in Maryland have charged six alleged members of a violent Central American gang in the death of a man in April.

The Frederick News Post reported Tuesday that police say the suspects are members of MS-13. 

The El-Salvador-based gang consists chiefly of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Central America.

Three men, Carlos Javier Hernandez Diaz, 21, and Denis Aristides Rivas-Aldana, 24, both of Silver Spring, along with Darwin Alberto Arias-Meijia, 24, of Greenbelt were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Two other suspects remained on the loose Tuesday while a third man is also in custody elsewhere.

Authorities allege that the six suspects participated in the death of Silver Spring resident Victor Antonio Turcios-Valle. 

The 37-year-old’s body was found in a shallow grave north of Frederick in June.

Maj. Tim Clarke, a spokesman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said authorities are investigating whether the victim was a gang member. 

He was identified through DNA, tattoos and other evidence collected shortly after a hiker led Frederick County sheriff’s deputies to where the person had found the body in a shallow grave in June. 

Montgomery County police had a missing person report for Turcios-Valle, who was last seen by his family in Silver Spring on April 2.

The indictments provided very few details other than a few names and dates.

The MS-13 gang is notorious for its links to cartels and organized crime, and its ability to access high-powered weapons.

Because of unrest in Central America, many of the original gang members had guerrilla warfare experience, making them more deadly than other criminal groups.

MS-13 is a ‘transnational criminal organization’ engaged in such crimes as drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, prostitution, murder and extortion.

There are at least 30,000 MS-13 members in a range of countries, including 8,000 in the United States.

Because the gang members are under the age of 18, the U.S. is unable to lawfully return them to their home countries. 

MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha gang, which is allied with several of Mexico’s warring drug cartels, has a strong presence in Southern California, Washington and Northern Virginia, all areas with substantial Salvadoran populations.

Among the most high-profile killings attributed to MS-13 in Virginia was the 2003 slaying of a pregnant teenager who had become an informant. Brenda Paz, 17, was stabbed to death and her body was left along the banks of the Shenandoah River.