10 years for MS-13 member in shooting
A member of the street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Dec. 9 for his role in a 2008 drive-by shooting in Sterling, according to the Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney's office.
Hector Valdamir Campos-Aguilar, 19, pled guilty in July to three felony charges related to the shooting that left three people injured, according to a statement from the Commonwealth's Attorney.
Campos-Aguilar, who was 17 at the time of the crime and has prior felony convictions in Fairfax County, was certified by the court to be tried as an adult, the statement said.
"The judge sent a very powerful message here, and that is, 'if you choose to associate with gangs and participate in violent crimes, you're going to pay a steep price,'" said Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman in a statement. "Our courts and our community have shown little tolerance for this type of criminal element and my office is taking every opportunity to see that gang members are prosecuted harshly, regardless of the role they play."
The shooting occurred on Sept. 17, 2008, near East Poplar Drive and Buckingham Court in Sterling, according to authorities.
A vehicle approached the three victims and several shots were fired through the passenger side window. One victim was struck in the upper arm, a second was shot in the back, and the third victim was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down, authorities said.
It is believed that the victims were mistakenly believed to be members of the 18th Street gang, a rival gang to MS-13, according to the Commonwealth Attorney's office.
The shooter, Antonio Neftali Urrutia Barerra, was also connected to an October 2008 shooting in Reston. He pled guilty to both shootings and is currently serving a 60-year sentence, the statement said.
Under Virginia law, Campos-Aguilar, who was in the back seat of the vehicle at the time of the shooting, is considered equally responsible for the crime, according to authorities.
Campos-Aguilar, a native of El Salvador, was brought to the United States illegally by his parents at age 12 and will be deported from the country upon the completion of his sentence, authorities said.
| December 15, 2010; 5:18 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse, Gangs, Loudoun
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