Prosecutors: 8 charged in alleged gang conspiracy in DC area; ties to Virginia murder

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say eight young men have been charged for their alleged roles in a violent gang racketeering conspiracy in the Maryland suburbs of the nation's capital.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement Wednesday that the men were named in a superseding indictment returned last month by a federal grand jury.

It says the indictment alleges the eight are members or associates of the MS-13 gang with ties to El Salvador and each faces varying charges.

Carlos Roberto Tejada Cruz, a/k/a “Krusty,” age 20, of Beltsville, Maryland;

Kevin Alexis Hernandez-Guevara, a/k/a “Stop,” age 20, of Landover Hills, Maryland;

Rolando Aristides Juarez-Vasquez, a/k/a “Virus,” a/k/a “Daffy,” age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland;

Jeffry Rodriguez, a/k/a “Hyper,” age 21, of Beltsville, Maryland;

Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente,” a/k/a “Trankilo,” age 20, of Landover, Maryland;

Michael Eduardo Contreras, a/k/a “Katra,” a/k/a “Insoportable,” age 22, of Silver Spring, Maryland;

Luis Fernando Orellana-Estrada, a/k/a “Pinguino,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland; and

Donald Roberto Mendez-Lopez, a/k/a “Chuckie,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland.

Prosecutors say all eight, ranging from 18 to 22 years old, are in custody.

On March 27, 2017, Contreras arranged for members of the Sailors Clique to travel from Maryland to Lynchburg, Virginia where they murdered a victim in Bedford County.

According to the indictment, crimes committed included planning and carrying out killings, extortion of business owners and trafficking in guns, marijuana, and cocaine.

Alvarado-Requino, Tejada-Cruz, Hernandez-Guevara, and Juarez-Vasquez face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Rodriguez, Contreras, Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez face a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

Tejada-Cruz and Hernandez-Guevara also face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.

Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez also face a maximum of twenty years in prison for conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion.

Contreras is also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Orellana-Estrada and Mendez-Lopez have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion, which carries a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.