FEDERAL COURT

2 Indicted in Alleged Gang Killing at Springfield Mall

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two suspected members of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, have been indicted in a slaying outside Springfield Mall in December that was another case of Latino gang members attacking someone from a rival gang to enhance their status, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

Christian Argueta, 19, and another man were walking out of the Cerro Grande restaurant in the mall at 2 a.m. when they were confronted in the parking lot by two men. Argueta was fatally shot, his friend escaped unharmed and Fairfax County police began investigating their third gang-related slaying of 2007.

Homicide detectives working with agents from the FBI's violent gang task force developed informants who led them to three men, court records show. Rafael Parada-Mendoza, 21, was the gunman and Gabriel Hosman Perez-Amaya, 21, was the second man at the shooting, the records say. A third man, Jorge Parada, 28, was charged with the other two with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

All three are suspected members of Pinos Locos Salvatrucha, a clique within MS-13, and the slaying was committed "for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in MS-13," according to an eight-count indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

Since 2002, 19 members of MS-13 have been convicted of murder or attempted murder in federal court in Alexandria. Most recently, five MS-13 members were convicted in December of attempted murder for a stabbing at Springfield Mall in which the knife missed the 15-year-old victim's heart by a centimeter, prosecutors said.

The investigation into Argueta's slaying was aided by four witnesses who identified Parada-Mendoza as the gunman. Last month, an MS-13 member told investigators that he was present when the shooting occurred and that a fellow gang member named Chevy shot Argueta, according to an affidavit by FBI agent Robert G. Saale. The gang member said Chevy discussed the shooting at a gathering later that morning, Saale wrote.

Two other informants told investigators that Chevy was a gang member and had "admitted that he shot the victim outside the Cerro Grande," Saale's affidavit states. Yet another witness told investigators that Chevy owned a gun and had shown the witness the gun.

Parada-Mendoza, known to Fairfax gang investigators as Chevy, was arrested March 19 in Texas. Perez-Amaya was arrested March 14 in Arlington. Parada was arrested April 19 in Texas, prosecutors said.

Staff writer Jerry Markon contributed to this report.


More in the Metro Section

Local Blog Directory

Find a Local Blog

Plug into the region's blogs, by location or area of interest.

Virginia Politics

Blog: Va. Politics

Here's a place to help you keep up with Virginia's overcaffeinated political culture.

D.C. Taxi Fares

D.C. Taxi Fares

Compare estimated zoned and metered D.C. taxi fares with this interactive calculator.

FOLLOW METRO ON:
Facebook Twitter RSS
|
GET LOCAL ALERTS:
© 2008 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity