LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A federal grand jury in Las Vegas, Nevada returned a three-count indictment today against three alleged gang members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) for their involvement in connection with a kidnapping and murder.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Division, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph Macias of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles made the announcement.
Jose Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, aka Molesto, 25, Miguel Torres-Escobar, aka Chamilo, 21, and David Arturo Perez-Manchame, aka Walter Melendez and Herbi, 20, are charged with murder in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and causing death through the use of a firearm. Reyes-Castillo and Torres-Escobar are citizens of El Salvador and Perez-Manchame is a citizen of Honduras. All of the defendants are illegally in the United States.
According to the indictment, MS-13 is a violent, transnational criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, including in Las Vegas, Nevada. MS-13 is a street gang composed primarily of persons from Central America, including El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The Parkview clique of MS-13 operated in the Las Vegas, Nevada sector. MS-13 members are required to commit crimes, including acts of violence, to maintain membership and discipline within the group.
The indictment alleges that, on Jan. 21, 2018, Reyes-Castillo, Torres-Escobar, and Perez-Manchame kidnapped and murdered Arquimidez Sandoval-Martinez. As alleged, the defendants intentionally participated in the act of violence that resulted in the death of Sandoval-Martinez.
Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame and Torres-Escobar remain in federal custody. Reyes-Castillo is pending federal charges in the Eastern District of California. All three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on May 21, 2019, before Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the FBI, HSI, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with the assistance of the DEA. Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime & Gang Section is prosecuting the case.