Feds indict alleged gang members connected to Bedford County murder

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) An alleged MS-13 gang member has been indicted for several crimes, including one connected to a Bedford County murder in March.

According to the United States Attorney's Office of Maryland, eight alleged MS-13 gang members have been charged with several crimes including murder, extortions, and drug trafficking.

Among them, 22-year-old Michael Eduardo Contreras of Silver Spring, Maryland is accused of arranging "for members of the Sailors Clique to travel from Maryland to Lynchburg, Virginia where they murdered a victim in Bedford County."

That victim was 17-year-old Raymond Wood, noted in the indictment only as "Victim 5".

Investigators believe 19-year-old Victor Arnoldo Rodas, 21-year-old Jose Coreas-Ventura, and 24-year-old Lisandro Posada-Vazquez killed Wood and are charged with 2nd-degree murder.

The three men are being held without bond and will be tried in Bedford County.

However, none of the men are listed in the federal indictment, only Contreras who allegedly arranged for the men to travel to the Lynchburg area.

Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney Wes Nance explained why: "There was a conversation between myself and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland where we made the decision that we wanted to prosecute the individuals who traveled to Bedford County and we allege were engaged in this crime."

Nance says the federal indictment, unsealed this week, was not a surprise.

"Shortly after the crime here in Bedford County, we started to speak to Maryland and other law enforcement and other prosecution agencies about what we were seeing on the ground here in Bedford County," Nance said.

The trial for Wood's murder was initially set for late October but has since been pushed back at the request of the defense attorney, so they can review all of the evidence.

"It is fairly voluminous, a lot of it has to be translated, for them to fully understand and comprehend everything that we are alleging we have against their clients."

Nance predicts the trial will happen sometime in 2018. No official trial date has been set.