BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. - Our communities are safer after eight alleged members of the MS-13 gang have been arrested for a violent racketeering conspiracy. The arrests happened in Maryland, but the gang is tied to a murder in the area as well as three other murders. One of the alleged members is linked to the death of a Lynchburg teenager in Bedford.
One of the eight suspects alleged to be MS-13 gang members in Maryland is linked back to the Bedford County area.
"There have already been multiple trips to Maryland. This is a very active and dynamic investigation and has been since March. With a crime of this brutality. No stone will be left unturned regardless of where it's at,” Wes Nance, commonwealth attorney in Bedford County, said.
Maryland investigators say, in March, Michael Eduardo Contreras arranged for members of the "Sailors Clique" to travel to Bedford County where they allegedly murdered Raymond Wood.
“There's an MS-13 tie to his death. That was apparent from the very first press conference from the Bedford County Sheriff's Office,” Nance said, “The is investigations is tended to indicated that majority these "actors" came from out of state and that the immediate presence of MS-13 in Central Virginia is somewhat limited.”
Investigators charged three alleged gang members: Victor Rodas, Jose Coreas-Ventura and Lisandro Vasquez with the crime.
Since the arrests, Bedford County's commonwealth attorney and law enforcement agencies seeked help from investigators in Virginia and Maryland.
"Our communication with Maryland, both their investigators and prosecutors, has been very open. We've set up the perimeters of who we want to prosecute here. They have no intentions in interrupting our prosecution or investigation,” Nance said.
The Bedford Commonwealth Attorney's Office isn't anticipating any changes in their case. That could change if the agencies in Maryland provides them with additional evidence.
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