4 MS-13 Members Charged in Texas Machete Murder in U.S. Illegally, Says ICE

MS-13 Gang Members Charged in Houston Machete Murder
Photos: Houston Police Department

Immigration officials filed detainers on four MS-13 members charged with hacking a Houston police informant to death with a machete. The alleged murder occurred in June.

Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas from Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel’s official website indicate the four MS-13 members took turns hacking 25-year-old Victor Castro Martinez to death with a machete-type weapon. Martinez was wearing a recording device for the Houston Police Department at the time.

Houston police investigators arrested Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa, 33; Wilson J. Ventura-Mejia, 22; Marlon A. Miranda, 19; and Carlos Elias Henriquez-Torres, 18, and charged them in connection with the murder of the informant. All four of the suspects are reported to be MS-13 members born in El Salvador.

Breitbart Texas reached out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to confirm the immigration status on the four Salvadoran gang members.

“On Aug. 23, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged immigration detainers on three men from El Salvador: Wilson Jose Ventura Mejia, 22; Marlon Miranda Moran, 19; and Miguel Angel Aguilar Ochoa, 33,” A spokesman for the agency said in an email response to Breitbart Texas’ inquiry. “All three individuals remain in the custody of the Houston Police Department (HPD) on pending murder charges.”

“On July 25, Carlos Henriquez-Torres, 18, also from El Salvador, was transferred into ICE custody from HPD pursuant to an immigration detainer,” the spokesman continued. “Henriquez-Torres remains in ICE custody.”

ICE officials said that illegal aliens they hold under detainers are made available to state courts for prosecution and court hearings. The immigration detainer also serves to ensure that a subject facing serious criminal charges will not be released from custody.

Houston police officials announced on Tuesday that the June murder of the police informant was the first of five murders in the area carried out by MS-13 members, Breitbart Texas reported.

Click2Houston reported the other four murders as:

The second homicide happened July 3 in Liberty County, where a man was taken to a wooded area and beaten with a bat and then hacked to death with a machete after saying he wanted to leave the gang, police said. Walter Mejia and Villalobez-Gomez were charged in connection with this case.

The third homicide investigation began Aug. 1, after the body of a man was found buried in a field at 5300 W. Fuqua St. after he was killed in Galveston, police said.

The fourth homicide happened Aug. 4 at La Union Restaurant at Wilcrest Drive and Bissonnet Street, where a man was gunned down in the parking lot after getting into an argument with several people, police said. Jairo Licona-Cardenas, Elida Medrano and a juvenile were charged in connection with this case. An arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth person in this case, but police would not release any other details.

The fifth homicide investigation began Aug. 30, after the body of a girl was found at the same Fuqua Street location where the man’s body was found Aug. 1, police said. Investigators said the girl was not a member of the gang and had been reported missing May 4.

Law enforcement officials told Breitbart Texas that all but one of the suspects in these murders are from El Salvador and are in the U.S. illegally. The 11th suspect remains at large and that person’s immigration status has not yet been confirmed.

In April 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an expansion of the Texas Anti-Gang Task Force in the Houston area in response to the growing number of MS-13 gang-related crimes. The governor pointed to a sharp increase in rape and murder in the Houston area that has been connected to violent gangs.

“This recent wave of senseless violence cannot continue,” Governor Abbott told reporters at a press conference attended by Breitbart Texas. “Government’s foremost responsibility is to keep our citizens safe and secure. Texas will take action and use all lawful means to put an end to this lawlessness.”

The governor read off a litany of news reports of violent gang crimes from the Houston area over the past several months. Among these crimes, the governor highlighted the recent kidnapping, rape, and murder of a Jersey Village teenage girl found dead on the side of a roadway in March. Two MS-13 gang members appearing, laughing and waving at news cameras, in a Houston courtroom, charged with the kidnapping and rape of one 14-year-old girl, and the kidnapping, rape, and murder of the young girl from Jersey Village, Breitbart Texas reported.

“Some of the MS-13 gang members are here illegally,” Abbott said. “Some of them did come here as unaccompanied children.”

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw responded to a question about MS-13’s exploitation of young men who come to the U.S. illegally from El Salvador.

McCraw responded, explaining, “MS-13 will press children as young as 13 into the gangs in El Salvador.” He said a high percentage of the MS-13 gang members are illegal aliens.

Governor Abbott said he would make Houston “hostile territory” for MS-13 gang members.

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 and Facebook.

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