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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

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 17, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  Spencer S. Hsu , The District  
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This is why there should be no amnesty for illegal aliens. It is clear that authorities have no idea who is here, whether these men are illegally in the country or not. Many other MS-13 members "and their associates" have been identified as illegal aliens.

Our government is wrong in its refusal to enforce immigration laws. It is wrong to believe that authorities can pick and choose among illegal aliens to identify criminals. Clearly, they are only able to identify the most obvious--after a horrific crime has been committed.

While we can all feel sympathy for the economic plight of Mexicans and other illegal aliens, Americans should not be endangered to prove we are a compassionate people.

Too many Americans have been killed by illegal aliens, too many crimes have been committed as politicians on both sides of the aisle look the other way and claim ignorance.

Posted by: woof3 | September 18, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

No amnesty of any kind for any illegal alien.

Posted by: | September 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree that there should be no amnesty for illegal aliens. The DREAM Act being voted on next week will grant amnesty to 2 million illegal aliens up to age 34, as long as they have a high school degree (financed by U.S. taxpayers, of course) or have enrolled in college (taking the place of a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant). Those 2 million will also be able to invite those they claim as their family members to become permanent residents.

We have no idea who these people are, what aliases they've used, whose identity they've stolen, or what crimes they've committed in addition to entering the country illegally, refusing to declare their income and therefore committing tax fraud and appearing to be financially eligible for taxpayer-funded benefits that were intended for U.S citizens.

Posted by: Voter4Integrity | September 18, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

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