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Ten members of the violent MS-13 street gang in Texas are facing murder and racketeering charges in connection with the deaths of an underage girl and police informant, authorities said Thursday.
In total, the indictment includes criminal charges related to seven murders, one attempted murder and one murder conspiracy, the Justice Department announced.
“The charges in this case reflect the Justice Department’s commitment to dismantling and disrupting MS-13, a criminal organization that sows violence, terror and fear in communities across the country,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
The indictment said that around 2015, continuing through the present, the suspects engaged in a racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, drug trafficking, robbery and obstruction of justice. The crimes were committed in Texas and Maryland, the federal prosecutors said.
The suspects were identified as Walter Antonio Chicas-Garcia, 25; Luis Ernesto Carbajal-Peraza, 30; Carlos Alexi Garcia-Gongora, 24; Wilson Jose Ventura-Mejia, aka Discreto, 26; Wilman Rivas-Guido, aka Inquieto, 26; Carlos Elias Henriquez-Torres, 22; Angel Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa, 37′ and 23-year-old Marlon Miranda-Moran.
Two suspects, Franklin Trejo-Chavarria, known as “Impulsivo,” and Julio Vigil-Lopez, known as “Hades,” live in El Salvador. All other suspects were in U.S. custody.
“As demonstrated by the allegations in today’s indictments, transnational criminal street gangs like MS-13 are a plague upon society that must be rooted out in the interest of public safety and national security,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston.
The murders occurred from 2015 to 2018 and included acts of mutilation and the dismemberment of bodies with machetes, authorities said. The victims included an underage girl and a police informant, the DOJ said.
They were done in order to maintain the gang’s control and to retaliate against rival gangs, prosecutors said. The gang’s activities were allegedly directed by leaders in El Salvador.
Fox News’ David Spunt contributed to this article.