MS-13 gang member pleads guilty in Loudoun County attempted murder cases

February 14, 2014 4:02 pmBy: 

photoEdgar Benitez Hernandez, also known as “Shadow,” 25, of the District of San Miguel, El Salvador, pleaded guilty earlier this week to two counts of using and discharging a firearm during attempted murder in aid of racketeering.

Benitez Hernandez was extradited from El Salvador to the United States on Dec. 18, 2013, and had been indicted previously by an Eastern District of Virginia grand jury on June 13, 2010, on multiple racketeering charges, including attempted murder.

Benitez Hernandez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum period of 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 23, 2014.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Benitez Hernandez, a soldier in the notoriously violent transnational street gang Mara Salvatrucha 13 (“MS-13”), attempted to murder two individuals on Sept. 13, 2008, in Loudoun County. On that date, Benitez Hernandez concealed himself behind some shrubs and when the male and pregnant female victims were within range, he fired multiple shots while yelling “Mara Salvatrucha Cabrones.”

Both of the victims were critically injured and likely would have died were it not for immediate surgical intervention.  The unborn baby also survived the wounding.  Benitez Hernandez committed the double shooting to increase his position within MS-13’s criminal enterprise.

On May 22, 2013, Benitez Hernandez was apprehended in El Salvador by an elite Salvadoran investigative unit known as the Transnational Anti-Gang (TAG) Task Force.  This extradition marks the first time in recent history that a Salvadoran citizen has been extradited to the United States to be held accountable for gang-related crimes committed in the United States.

“The apprehension, extradition, and now conviction of this extremely violent gang member is indicative of both the cooperation and commitment of U.S. and Salvadoran law enforcement and prosecutors to bring to justice those criminals who commit violent acts on U.S. soil, even when the perpetrators flee the United States to the perceived safety of the Central American hills,” said Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Police & Crime Top Stories Two Virginia State Police troopers hurt in separate incidents

    Two Virginia State Police troopers hurt in separate incidents

    Two Virginia State Police troopers have been injured in separate accidents today. In the most recent incident, a trooper had stopped a traffic violator on the shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-66, just east of the Beltway/I-495 interchange. The trooper was standing next to the violator’s car when a passing vehicle ran off the road and collided with the vehicles stopped on the shoulder. The trooper was struck during the course of the collision. The trooper and three others have […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Prince William Top Stories Virginia State Police trooper injured in crash

    Virginia State Police trooper injured in crash

    A Virginia State Police trooper is recovering after his vehicle was struck by an out-of-control SUV in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday along the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near the 152 mile marker. Trooper I.J. Dallam Sr., was parked off the left side of Interstate 95 (where the former HOV lanes used to merge into southbound I-95) and running stationary radar on southbound traffic. A 2000 Ford Explorer was traveling at an excessive rate […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Connolly “stunned” at revelations, warns of Metro “safety gap”

    Connolly “stunned” at revelations, warns of Metro “safety gap”

    The Ranking Member of a House Subcommittee that on Friday will look at Washington Metrorail safety in the wake of the January 12 Yellow Line fatal smoke incident says he will focus on six urgent federal recommendations on ventilation just issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ranking member of the House Government Operations Subcommittee, said “Frankly, it is stunning that WMATA would need NTSB to remind it that the Metrorail system should have a ventilation […]

    Read more →
  • Falls Church Great Falls Herndon McLean Politics Top Stories Vienna Jennifer Chronis announces candidacy in Dranesville District

    Jennifer Chronis announces candidacy in Dranesville District

    Today, Great Falls resident Jennifer Chronis announced her campaign for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors-Dranesville District, picking up the endorsement of Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield). The seat is now held by John W. Foust. “Fairfax County is at a crossroads. The decline in federal spending is impacting our local economy after decades of prosperity, limiting the revenue that we need to invest in our schools, transportation and other needs that are critical to our quality of life,” Chronis said. “The […]

    Read more →
  • Health Top Stories Suspected Fairfax measles case tests negative

    Suspected Fairfax measles case tests negative

    The Fairfax County Health Department says a suspected case of measles has tested negative. The department had said yesterday (Tuesday) that it was investigating a possible case in an unnamed Fairfax County resident but today said tests came back negative. People who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles. Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best […]

    Read more →
  • Health Top Stories Possible measles case in Fairfax

    Possible measles case in Fairfax

    The Fairfax County Health Department is currently investigating a suspected case of measles in a Fairfax County resident. Test results will not be known for approximately 24 hours. Health officials are currently identifying potential exposure sites, and the individual is in self-isolation at home. No other details will be announced until test results become available. If the case is positive, a news conference will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11. People who have received at least one dose of measles, […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Top Stories Warner offers tips to Virginians affected by Anthem data breach

    Warner offers tips to Virginians affected by Anthem data breach

    U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) provided a variety of useful resources and an online form on his Senate website today for Virginians potentially impacted by the cyberattack targeting Anthem to contact his office for assistance. Anthem, Virginia’s largest health insurer and the provider serving state and federal employees and retirees, announced today that hackers recently gained access to up to 80 million customer names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, mail and email addresses, employment and income information. Anthem reportedly is […]

    Read more →
  • Business Politics Top Stories Beyer buys in to plan to regulate Internet

    Beyer buys in to plan to regulate Internet

    As expected, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has outlined what he called the “strongest open Internet protections ever proposed” and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) says Wheeler’s plan would ensure “fair, equal access” to everyone. The plan, outlined in a Wired magazine op-ed, would bring broadband service under Title II of the Communications Act, treating it for the first time as a public utility and enshrining the “network neutrality” principles long demanded by consumer advocates. Wheeler’s plan would outlaw “fast lanes” […]

    Read more →