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Four Alleged MS-13 Members Charged In Deadly Racketeering Conspiracy

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) -- Federal prosecutors have indicted four alleged members of the MS-13 street gang on racketeering charges that include murder allegations.

Willians Ernesto Lovos-Ayala, 25; Vilas Sail Argueta-Bermudez, 31; and Michael Campos-Lemus, 24; and Daniel Flores-Ventura, 24, were indicted in connection with a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and murder in aid of racketeering, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland announced Tuesday.

All of the defendants are in custody.

According to the indictment, the men allegedly engaged in murder conspiracy and committed a murder on July 16, 2015 in Montgomery County. The indictment says the men participated in the murder of Guillermo Hernandez Leyva, who went missing on July 18, 2015, to increase their standing in the gang. Leyva's body was discovered on Sept. 29, 2015 in Woodbridge, Virginia, but authorities believe the slaying occurred in Maryland.

Branches or "cliques" of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. The defendants were allegedly members of the Uniones and Molinos Clique of MS-13.  The indictment alleges that from at least 2015 through September 2017, the men were members and associates of MS-13 who planned and committed murders, drug trafficking and extortions.

The men were arrested in 2017 and initially faced murder charges in Virginia. But those charges were dropped in favor of the federal prosecution.

The killing was one of several that marked a resurgence of MS-13 in the region.

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