New charges in home-invasion case
Federal authorities announced new charges Friday against three alleged members and associates of the MS-13 gang for crimes related to a Dec. 11, 2009, home invasion of a District apartment, and a fourth member who allegedly threatened a potential witness.
A federal grand jury handed up the indictment Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Carlos M. Silva, Omar R. Aguilar, Wilfredo Mejia and Henry Sarba, who were detained and previously charged in D.C. Superior Court. District and U.S. law enforcement leaders said the new indictment was broadened and made in federal court “to reflect the serious nature” of gang violence.
The men have pleaded not guilty in Superior Court.
According to the new indictment, Silva, 28, Aguilar 20, and Mejia, 25, held five people at gunpoint, and sexually assaulted one of them, to join, maintain or boost their standing in the Salvadoran MS-13 organization, which has spread to at least Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and 20 states. Sarba, 20, allegedly called and threatened potential witnesses.
The charges include kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering; weapons offenses; assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse while armed and third degree sexual abuse, accessory after the fact, obstructing justice and other charges. The statutory penalty for kidnapping in aid of racketeering is 30 years.
— Spencer S. Hsu
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