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

  • Business Springfield Top Stories Springfield site remains in the running for new FBI HQ

    Springfield site remains in the running for new FBI HQ

    A joint panel of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has concluded site evaluations for the new FBI Headquarters and has identified three sites as potential locations, and has included the Franconia-Springfield site among the final three. “We are very pleased that the Springfield Warehouse in Fairfax County has made the short list for the new FBI headquarters,” said Fairfax County Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “The project would help spur redevelopment in that area […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Appeals court upholds ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage

    Appeals court upholds ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage

    The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today held that the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses require the states to treat all couples equally, upholding a lower court’s ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Fourth Circuit’s majority agreed with Virginia Attorney General Herring’s argument that marriage is a fundamental right and same-sex couples are equally entitled to that protection. They further agreed that the state’s reasons for denying marriage rights to same-sex couples failed to meet […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation McAuliffe vows to fix “broken” I-66

    McAuliffe vows to fix “broken” I-66

    Saying that I-66 is “broken” in the Fairfax area, Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced a plan to transform the traffic-choked highway into a multi-modal facility with express lanes, rapid bus service and a park-and-ride network from the Capital Beltway to Haymarket. “Interstate 66 is broken. Commuters are stuck in traffic, limited in the travel choices they can make and unable to predict how long their trip will take on any given day,” said McAuliffe. “Giving Virginians more choices and a better, safer […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Fairfax County School Board elects new chairman

    Fairfax County School Board elects new chairman

    The Fairfax County School Board has elected Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Lee District) as chairman and Ted Velkoff (at-large) as vice chairman for a one-year term. The chair and vice chair assumed office at the July 10 School Board meeting; they are elected by School Board members during the Board’s annual organizational meeting. Derenak Kaufax has served on the School Board since January 2012; she served as vice chair in 2013-14 and has served as chair of the School Board’s Public […]

    Read more →
  • Business Employment Reston Top Stories Transportation Tysons Corner Vienna Metro offers Silver Line briefings to employers

    Metro offers Silver Line briefings to employers

    As Metro’s new Silver Line prepares to open later this month, Metro is offering briefings to businesses looking to ease their employees’ commutes. Nearly 4,000 employers already provide the SmartBenefits commuting benefit to 250,000 workers in the region, according to Metro. Metro hosts SmartBenefits Seminars for employers to learn how to offer employees a better way to get to work, save money, and take advantage of the most recent enhancements to SmarTrip and the Silver Line. Register now for one […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive unveiled at GMU

    Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive unveiled at GMU

    Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever enacted into law. Many of the men and women who lived through the Civil Rights era and provided more than 50 hours of video testimonials for Congressman Gerry Connolly’s year-long project to create a Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive will join Connolly at the unveiling of the project at George Mason University Monday (July 7). “The Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive: […]

    Read more →
  • Floods & Natural Disasters Top Stories Arthur headed for Outer Banks but likely to miss Mid-Atlantic

    Arthur headed for Outer Banks but likely to miss Mid-Atlantic

    Although it will ruin the July 4 holiday for many Northern Virginians who were headed for the Outer Banks, it appears that Tropical Storm Arthur will head out to sea and miss Fairfax and the Mid-Atlantic region. This NASA image, taken by the Aqua satellite as it passed over Tropical Storm Arthur on July 2 at 2:50 p.m. EDT on July 2, shows a cloud-covered eye as the storm was on the way to becoming a hurricane. This visible image of […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Connolly: Highway Trust Fund shortfall threatens Virginia commuters

    Connolly: Highway Trust Fund shortfall threatens Virginia commuters

    Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) today urged his House colleagues to take swift action to replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund when they return to work Tuesday, warning that Virginia and other states could be forced to scale back road, bridge, and transit projects unless Congress acts. The U.S. Department of Transportation has notified all states that restrictions will be placed on their federal highway funds starting August 1st because the Highway Trust Fund is bordering on insolvency. President Obama issued […]

    Read more →

The forecast for 22030 by WP Wunderground