Four people accused of being MS-13 gang members were charged late Tuesday in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a rival gang member whose body was found on federal property in southern Nevada.
Josue Diaz-Orellana, 22, Luis Reyes-Castillo, who goes by the name, “Molesto,” 24, David Perez-Manchame, also known as “Herbi” and “Walter Melendez,” 19, and Miguel Torres-Escobar, 20, are charged with assault with intent to commit murder, kidnapping, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
On Monday, Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Captain Robert Plummer of the LVMPD Homicide Sex Crimes Bureau held a news conference to discuss the details of 10 murders committed in Clark County allegedly by MS-13 over the last year.
According to allegations contained in the complaint, on Jan. 21, Diaz-Orellana, Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar, kidnapped and murdered Arquimidez Sandavol-Martinez. His body was discovered on Feb. 2, on federal property on East Lake Mead Boulevard, near mile marker 12, in rural Clark County, Nevada.
Examination of the crime scene indicated that Sandoval-Martinez had been bound and had made some effort to escape his captors before being shot and stabbed to death. Fired 9mm cartridge cases with “Blazer” and “FC” head-stamp markings on them were located at the crime scene.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers also learned that Sandoval-Martinez was last seen on Jan. 21, at Club 2100, located at 2100 Fremont Street. Investigators obtained cell phone records that indicated Diaz-Orellana’s phone used cell towers near the club, heading eastbound along Lake Mead Boulevard, and in the area where Sandavol-Martinez’s body was found.
On March 2, law enforcement stopped Diaz-Orellana who was in a vehicle with Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar. A large butcher knife, a baseball hat with an apparent bloodstain on it, along with three 9mm handguns were found in the vehicle.
When the suspects were first arrested, the four suspects were being held on federal immigration charges. All five suspects are El Salvadoran nationals and are said to be in the United States illegally.
Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar are scheduled to make their initial appearance in court Wednesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in Las Vegas before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach. A date for Diaz-Orellana has not yet been set.
The maximum statutory penalty is 20 years of imprisonment for the assault charge and life imprisonment for both the kidnapping and the discharging of a firearm count.
MS-13 is an identified transnational organized crime group. MS-13, which is short for “La Mara Salvatrucha,” is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador. In the United States, MS-13 has been functioning since at least the 1980s.
The case is a joint investigation by the FBI, HSI, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police with the assistance of the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip N. Smith, Jr. and Frank J. Coumou are prosecuting the case.
Go here to read the full indictment.