Four men and a woman allegedly belonging to the MS-13 street gang have been indicted by a federal grand jury on murder charges that carry a potential death sentence.
The indictment charges the five, all natives of El Salvador, with murder in the aid of racketeering for the Jan. 1 slaying of 21-year-old Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas at a park in Dumfries, Virginia.
An FBI affidavit states that Edgar Oswaldo Blanco Torres, 25; Jose Martir Larios Espenal, 21; Samuel Enrique Villalobos Sanchez, 19; Dimas Misael Canales Santos, 27, and Keyri Sujey Portillo Gonzalez, 19, conspired to kidnap and murder Sosa Rivas. The group believed the victim was a member of a rival gang, and that he falsely claimed to be a member of MS-13.
According to allegations in the indictment, the group convinced a female friend to lure Sosa Rivas to the park. The indictment also claims that the defendants murdered Sosa Rivas to gain entrance to and advance in MS-13.
All five were all initially charged in state court. They now each face 10 years in prison for conspiracy counts and death or life in prison for kidnapping and murder charges.
The attorney general would have to approve seeking the death penalty.