- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2011

A leader of the D.C. branch of a violent Hispanic street gang was sentenced Thursday to life in prison plus 150 years for his role in a murder and other crimes.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon sentenced William Cordova, 26, the first of three men convicted in December for a series of crimes connected to the Salvadoran street gang MS-13.

Jose Gutierrez, 22, also known as “Astuto” or “Marco,” is to be sentenced on April 26. Melvin Sorto, 24, also known as “Killer” or “Fantasma,” is to be sentenced on April 27.

The men, all from the District, were convicted of killing rival gang member Edwin Ventura, 18, on April 22, 2007, as well as numerous other charges of assault and racketeering.

Prosecutors said the evidence included crimes of assaults, threats, maiming, extortion, witness intimidation, assaults with intent to kill and the murder of all rival gang members and persons that threatened the MS-13 enterprise.