- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 17, 2005

A federal judge yesterday sentenced a second member of the Mara Salvatrucha — or MS-13 — street gang to life in prison for his role in the killing of a rival gang member.

U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III sentenced Alirio Reyes, 27, of Herndon, to a mandatory life term for murdering Jose Sandoval, 17, a Herndon High School freshman.

Reyes pleaded guilty to a charge of murder in the aid of racketeering activity.

The murder occurred when Reyes and fellow MS-13 member Osmin Heriberto Alfaro-Fuentes confronted two teens in Herndon on May 16, 2004, to determine whether they were rival gang members, federal prosecutors said.

Alfaro-Fuentes, 27, of Herndon, was sentenced Dec. 9 to life in prison in the case.

“With these sentencings, two extremely dangerous gang members will be off the street permanently,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty said.

“This case demonstrates the destructiveness of gang membership,” he said.

Mr. McNulty said Alfaro-Fuentes questioned Jose and a 16-year-old girl, both of whom acknowledged that they were members of the rival 18th Street gang. Reyes then shot both, killing Jose and seriously wounding the girl, he said.

Neither victim knew Reyes or Alfaro-Fuentes, Mr. McNulty said.

After the shooting, Reyes and Alfaro-Fuentes fled to Los Angeles, where they were arrested June 18, 2004.

During the third day of his trial in September, Reyes pleaded guilty, saying that MS-13 members who kill rival gang members increase their status in the gang.

And he said in court that the rules of the gang required him to shoot Jose because he was a member of a rival gang.

The case was the first in the region to test federal racketeering laws as a method of prosecuting gang-related crimes.

The statutes originally were intended to be used to target organized-crime groups.

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