Alleged MS-13 gang members indicted for kidnapping, murder by federal grand jury

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Three men allegedly connected to the kidnapping and murder of another man in 2018 were indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas Wednesday.

The three-count indictment is against, 25-year-old Jose Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, aka Molesto — 21-year-old Miguel Torres-Escobar, aka Chamilo — and 20-year-old David Arturo Perez-Manchame, aka Walter Melendez or Herbi.

Authorities say the men are gang members of La Mara Salvatrucha also known as MS-13. They’re charged with the following:

  • Murder in aid of racketeering
  • Using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence
  • Causing death through the use of a firearm

The indictment released Wednesday 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 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 U.S. Attorney’s office.

The indictment released Wednesday says MS-13 is a violent, transnational criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, including in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

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MS-13 is a street gang composed primarily of persons from Central America, including El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 

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.

The Parkview clique of MS-13, which the defendants are thought to be a part of, operated in the Las Vegas, Nevada sector.

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The U.S. Attorney’s office says MS-13 members are required to commit crimes, including acts of violence, to maintain membership and discipline within the group.

The charges the men face 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.

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