An 18-year-old in Virginia posted a photo of himself on Facebook flashing 18th Street gang signs. Now, he is dead after MS-13 members took notice and ordered his torturous execution.
“We’re always patrolling the area to make sure it’s clean of enemies,” an MS-13 leader, Wilmar Javier Viera Gonzalez, testified, according to a report by The Washington Post regarding his testimony in the trial of Dublas Lazo. Gonzalez showed jurors his notebook of “MS-13 codes, nicknames and rules.” He reportedly told the jury that in order to move up the ladder in the gang “you must kill a rival.”
The Post also quoted him as saying, “If he was [18th Street], we must kill him.”
Gonzalez was a leader in the MS-13 chapter of Virginia Locos Salvatrucha as well as the larger “East Coast Program.” The Post reported that Gonzalez and two other MS-13 members testified against six other compatriots. They hope by cooperating with law enforcement, authorities and the prosecution “will get them out of prison before their own deaths.”
An MS-13 associate, Andres Velasquez Guevara, alerted the gang members to Carlos Otero Henriquez’ claim of 18th Street gang membership. In a conversation with Valeaquez Guevara, Henriquez told him he was a member of the gang.
“Here you don’t go around saying things like that,” Velasquez Guevara reportedly told police. “Dangerous.”
The gang conspired to set up Henriquez, telling him they were going to a club to party with girls.
“He had no idea that night would be his last,” Assistant U.S. attorney Patricia Giles told the jury her opening statement. “He had no idea of the horrible death he would suffer.”
Testimony revealed the gang drove him in a van to a deserted area on mountain roads in West Virginia.
As the attack began, the gang leaders filmed the brutal beating and murder to send to MS-13 leaders in El Salvador.
Viera Gonzalez ordered four of his fellow MS-13 gang members to hold Henriquez down by his extremities.
“They all took a chance, one at a time, stabbing Carlos with the pocketknife.” Viera Gonzalez testified they stabbed him so many times, “you could see his intestines.”
The final blow came when one of the gang members stabbed him in the throat. They stripped his clothes and set them on fire and then tossed his body in a ditch. By the time officials found Henriquez’ body, only a skeleton remained.
Lazo faces life in prison if convicted in this case.
Breitbart Texas reported in January when congressional staffers said that Salvadoran leaders of MS-13 are frustrated that their members in the U.S. are not violent enough. The comments came after a recent visit to El Salvador by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.
Representative Peter King (R-NY) serves as chairman of the subcommittee on counterterrorism. He said his Salvadoran law enforcement members told his staff that leaders of the transnational criminal organization are “frustrated that MS-13 members in [the U.S.] are not violent enough,” VOA News reported. He continued saying the gang leaders in El Salvador wanted to send “more violent members” to the U.S.
“It’s a horrifying thought,” King said.
His remarks came during a committee hearing where FBI Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigations Division Stephen Richardson testified about the mass arrests and imprisonment of MS-13 gang members and mid-level leaders during the past year.
Immigration officials stated they arrested nearly 5,000 members during Fiscal Year 2017 which ended on September 30, Breitbart Texas reported. Of those, nearly 800 were MS-13.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the International Association of Chiefs of Police that his prosecutors and law enforcement officials will use “whatever laws we have” to get MS-13 gang members off the streets, Breitbart Texas reported in October. Sessions said “MS-13 members brutally rape, rob, extort, and murder. Guided by their motto – ‘kill, rape, and control’ – they leave misery, devastation, and death in their wake.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.