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by ARLnow.com July 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Updated at 9:40 p.m. — Police say the deaths of two people found deceased in an East Falls Church home were the result of an “apparent murder suicide.” More from an ACPD press release:

Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an apparent murder-suicide in the East Falls Church neighborhood.

At approximately 2:42 p.m. on July 24, police responded to a check on the welfare call in the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street. Inside the residence, arriving officers located two adults deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. The victim, Terry Lynn Matsumoto, 82, of Arlington, VA was pronounced deceased at the scene along with the subject, Masao Matsumoto, 81, of Arlington, VA. The victim and subject were married.

This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no indication of a larger threat to the community. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances that [preceded] the incident. Final determination of cause of death will be made by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Earlier: Arlington County Police are investigating the deaths of two people in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.

The investigation is taking place on the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street, two blocks north of Lee Highway. Police found the bodies of two people in a house Monday afternoon.

“Two adults were located deceased inside a residence,” confirmed ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Police do not believe there’s a threat to the community. The investigation is ongoing and police will remain in the area.

So far police have not released the names of the deceased individuals nor have they said whether either of the deaths is considered suspicious, only calling it an “active death investigation” at this stage.

“It’s very strange,” one local resident told ARLnow.com. “We’re kind of a quiet neighborhood.”

by ARLnow.com July 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

County Seeking Cash for EFC Upgrades — Arlington County is seeking $30 million in congestion relief funds from the future I-66 toll lanes to help fund some upgrades at the East Falls Church Metro station. Among the hoped-f0r changes: a second entrance to the station, from Washington Boulevard, and the addition of two new bus bays. [InsideNova]

New School Board Leadership — Barbara Kanninen has been elected by her colleagues as chair of the Arlington School Board for the 2017-2018 school year. Reid Goldstein was selected as vice chair. [Twitter]

Arlington Man Arrested for Murder — A 24-year-old Arlington man was arrested in Arlington last week and charged in connection with a 2016 homicide in Waldorf, Maryland. Authorities say Bryan Aquice was the second shooter in the case; he is one of four in custody for the crime. [NBC WashingtonSouthern Maryland News Net]

High School Football Schedules — Fall high school football schedules for Wakefield, Washington-Lee, Yorktown and Bishop O’Connell have been released. [InsideNova]

Straddling Bus Was a Scam — That traffic-straddling bus that some locals were fascinated by last year as a possible futuristic transit solution? It was apparently an investment scam. [BBC]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com June 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm 0

Update at 11:45 p.m. — The suspect has been arrested, police have announced.

Earlier: A D.C. man was shot to death Friday night in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood.

Police say 35-year-old Adonis Wright was found suffering from a gunshot wound on the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street around 11:20 p.m. Officers arriving on scene tried to save Wright’s life but he succumbed to his injuries at George Washington University Hospital.

ACPD is now looking for the suspect, 23-year-old Daejon Jones of Woodbridge, who they say shot Wright during a dispute. Jones fled the scene after the shooting and police are asking for the public’s help in locating him.

“This shooting is an isolated incident and there is no indication of any continued threat to the community,” police said in a press release, below. “Jones is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately and not approach the suspect.”

This is the third reported homicide in Arlington so far this year.

The Arlington County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Daejon Tyrie Jones, 23, of Woodbridge, Virginia. Jones is wanted for Murder for his role in a homicide in the Nauck neighborhood. Jones is described as a black male, approximately 5’9″ tall and weighing 190 pounds.

At approximately 11:20 p.m. on June 16, 2017, police responded to the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street for the report of a shooting. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound and began performing lifesaving measures. Arlington County Fire Department medics transported Adonis Wright, 35, of Washington, D.C. to George Washington University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The initial investigation revealed that this shooting resulted from a dispute that took place between known individuals. The suspect, Daejon Tyrie Jones, fled the scene prior to police arrival. This shooting is an isolated incident and there is no indication of any continued threat to the community.

Jones is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately and not approach the suspect. If you have additional information regarding this investigation, contact Detective S. Bertollini of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4243 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Photo courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Senators Tour Proposed Cemetery Expansion — The Army gave a group of U.S. senators a tour of a proposed expansion area for Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. The expansion, around the Air Force Memorial, would create space for 40,000 to 60,000 gravesites while requiring a realignment of Columbia Pike. Military officials are hoping to open the expansion by 2023 but a land swap with Arlington County and Virginia has still not been completed. [Stars and Stripes]

Arlington Man Killed in D.C. — An Arlington resident, 31-year-old Antwan Jones, was shot to death Tuesday afternoon while sitting in an BMW in Southeast D.C. A second man was injured in the shooting. [Washington Post]

History of Fairlington — Eighteen years ago yesterday Fairlington was added to the National Register of Historic Places. George Washington once owned land in the neighborhood, in the southwest corner of Arlington. It was also home to Civil War fortifications and a horse farm before being cleared to make way for 3,449 units of government housing for defense workers during World War II. [Facebook]

Midwestern Gothic Trailer — Signature Theater has released a cinematic trailer for its new “world premiere thriller with a musical twist,” Midwestern Gothic. The production runs through April 30. [YouTube]

HireEd Conference Coming to GMU — Sponsored — Graham Holdings Chair Donald Graham will be the keynote speaker at an event that will bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators and nonprofits to discuss strategies to place students and graduates in jobs at all levels and solutions for businesses recruiting talent. It’s taking place Wednesday, April 5, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at George Mason University Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive. Registration is free for students and $25 for general admission. [Arlington Economic Development]

Photo courtesy Fred Cochard

by Chris Teale March 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Ludvin Estrada sentencedA man who fled to Guatemala to escape murder charges was sentenced to 45 years in prison Friday for a 1999 homicide in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood.

Ludvin Estrada, 41, was convicted of killing 27-year-old Eva Veliz on May 11, 1999. Police found Veliz dead inside the trunk of a car parked on the 1300 block of N. Pierce Street.

The pair were seen leaving together, after a night out, at approximately 2:45 a.m. on the day of the murder. At some point, the pair started arguing and Estrada strangled Veliz to death, prosecutors say.

Estrada then immediately fled to Guatemala.

Police issued a warrant for Estrada’s arrest, but were unable to find him in Guatemala. The Arlington County Police Department’s cold case unit took over the case in 2012.

A combination of case files, laboratory results and evidence from the crime scene led law enforcement authorities to Estrada in September 2016. He was then extradited to the United States.

More from ACPD:

A man who fled to Guatemala following the 1999 murder of Eva Veliz in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood of Arlington County was sentenced in the Arlington County Circuit Court on Friday, March 17, 2017. Judge Daniel Fiore imposed the maximum judgement permitted by the plea agreement and sentenced Ludvin Estrada, 41, to forty-five years in prison.

On May 11, 1999, at approximately 4:33 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to the report of a 27-year-old female victim located deceased inside the trunk of a vehicle parked in the 1300 block of N. Pierce Street. The investigation revealed that on the evening prior the victim, Eva Veliz, and the subject, Ludvin Estrada, had been out dancing and were seen leaving together at approximately 2:45 a.m. on May 11, 1999. At some point during the evening, a verbal altercation ensued between the two and the subject strangled the victim causing her death. Estrada immediately fled to Guatemala.

A warrant was issued for Estrada in 1999 but efforts to locate him in Guatemala were unsuccessful. In 2012, the case was assigned to the Arlington County Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. Through a review of the case files, crime scene evidence and laboratory results detectives located additional information that verified Estrada’s involvement in the murder.

In September 2016, following a joint investigation by the Arlington County Police Department, the United States Department of State, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the United States Marshals Service and Guatemalan Law Enforcement, Estrada was extradited to the United States to face charges in the 1999 murder of Eva Veliz.

“Today’s sentence is the culmination of years of dogged work and perseverance by Arlington’s law enforcement community.  A special thank you goes to Detective Rosa Ortiz who never, ever forgot about our victim.  Together with two dedicated prosecutors, Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys’ Stephanie Siegel and Lindsay Brooker, this defendant was finally brought to justice.” said Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “More than a decade ago, Eva Veliz was taken from her loving family in a senseless act of domestic violence. While this case was never a whodunit, Ludvin Estrada’s decision to flee the country made this investigation much more complex. This case demonstrates our commitment to pursue cases, no matter how much time has passed. The message to criminals and the families of the victims is clear — Arlington County will not waver in our commitment to investigate and prosecute cold case homicides.”

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

Rosslyn overhead view (Photo courtesy John Sonderman)

Woman Arrested in Williamsburg Murder Case — A 27-year-old Maryland woman has been arrested and charged with being an accessory to last month’s homicide at a house party in the Williamsburg neighborhood. A press release does not specify how Monique Williams allegedly helped the suspect, Jason Allen Johnson, who remains at large. [Arlington County]

Police Looking for Missing Teen — Fairfax County Police are leading the search for Alex Daniel Terceros, a developmentally disabled 17-year-old who was reportedly last seen at the under-renovation Ballston Common Mall, after his mom dropped him off at the mall. [Fox 5]

Georgetown Still Interested in Gondola — Georgetown is pushing forward with studies that would be the precursor for a Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola system, despite Arlington County pledging not to fund any such project. [Bisnow]

Three Running for School Board — Three people are now running in the Democratic school board endorsement caucus. Montessori advocate Monique O’Grady, the mother of Fox TV star Brittany O’Grady, has joined the race, facing off against incumbent James Lander and fellow challenger Maura McMahon. [InsideNova]

VOICE Condemns VOICE — The local social justice group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement has issued a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s proposed Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE). The Virginia VOICE says Trump’s VOICE is “a regrettable attempt to criminalize a whole category of U.S. residents, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding, tax-paying contributors to the country’s economy.” [VOICE]

Parents of Autistic Students File Complaint Against APS — “In Arlington, Va., the Autistic Self Advocacy Network filed a discrimination complaint last spring with the Justice Department on behalf of five nonspeaking students — dubbed the “Arlington Five” — whose requests to use letter boards and trained communication supporters to access general education were denied by the school district.” [Washington Post]

Photo courtesy John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com February 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm 0

Jason Allen Johnson (photo courtesy ACPD)(Updated at 2:50 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating the county’s second reported homicide of the year.

A shooting happened around 3:20 a.m. Sunday at a home on the 6300 block of 29th Street N., near Bishop O’Connell High School, according to police.

Authorities say a 23-year-old man was shot during an argument at a house party and later died at the hospital.

TV station WJLA described the party as a housewarming party attended by a group of several dozen friends.

Police are now searching for the suspect, 37-year-old D.C. resident Jason Allen Johnson, who they say should be considered armed and dangerous.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Jason Allen Johnson, 37, of Washington, DC. Johnson is wanted for Murder for his role in this morning’s homicide in the Williamsburg neighborhood. Johnson is described as a black male, approximately 5’5″ and weighing 145 pounds. He was last known to be heading towards Maryland.

At approximately 3:22 a.m. on February 19, 2017, Arlington County Police responded to the 6300 block of N. 29th Street for the report of shots fired. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began performing CPR. Arlington County Fire Department medics transported Michael Gray, 23, of Manassas, Virginia to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The initial investigation revealed that this shooting resulted from a dispute that took place during a party at a residence in the 6300 block of N. 29th Street.

Johnson is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately and not approach the suspect. If you have additional information regarding this investigation, contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com February 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

David Black (photo courtesy ACPD)David Black, who was convicted in November of murdering his estranged wife in her home near Pentagon City, will serve two consecutive life sentences in prison.

The sentence, which was recommended by the jury, was confirmed by an Arlington Circuit Court judge Wednesday afternoon.

Black lived just blocks away from his wife, Bonnie Delgado Black, in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood. Prosecutors say he broke into her home on April 17, 2015 and stabbed her to death.

The murder scene was discovered after neighbors found Black’s two young children wandering around outside the home that morning.

More from an Arlington County Police Department press release:

David Black, 45, of Arlington, VA was sentenced on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 in the Arlington County Circuit Court to two consecutive life terms in prison for the 2015 murder of Bonnie Black.

Theophani K. Stamos, Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney and M. Jay Farr, Arlington County’s Chief of Police made the announcement following the court appearance.

On April 17, 2015, officers were dispatched to the 1100 block of 18th Street S. after two concerned citizens located the Black children alone outside their residence and called police for assistance. Arriving officers located Bonnie Black deceased from an apparent stabbing inside the residence. Detectives began an intensive investigation revealing that Bonnie Black was the victim of domestic violence.

David Black, the estranged husband of Bonnie Black, was taken into custody in October 2015 pursuant to an indictment issued by a special investigative grand jury. The indictment and subsequent bench warrant charged him with one count of first degree murder and one count of burglary while armed with the intent to commit a felony. On November 8, 2016, a jury returned a unanimous verdict finding David Black guilty on both counts.

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Theophani K. Stamos said, “The imposition of two life sentences for the murder of Bonnie Black speaks volumes about our community’s views when it comes to domestic violence.  We’re grateful to Judge Newman and the jury for their hard work, deep consideration and attention throughout a very difficult trial.”

Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “This horrific murder personalized the investigation for the entire Criminal Investigations Section, many of whom had children themselves. They worked relentlessly for the cause of justice. The complex investigation, prosecution and ultimate conviction were possible because of a strong partnership between the Homicide/Robbery Unit and the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Unfortunately nothing can bring Bonnie Black back to her loving family colleagues and friends but it is our fervent hope that we have been able to provide them with some closure.”

by ARLnow.com January 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Update at 11:40 a.m. — Police say the man’s death was a homicide. A suspect has been arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Earlier: Arlington County Police are investigating what they’re calling a “suspicious death” in an apartment building in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The body of a 55-year-old man was found in an apartment in one of the garden apartment buildings on 7th Road S. Two people have been detained by police for questioning, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Police are not yet confirming whether this is Arlington County’s first homicide of 2017. That determination will be made by a medical examiner, Savage said.

The apartments are located across from Tyrol Hill Park. School children were playing in the park while police were conducting their investigation Monday afternoon.

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Trump cutout goes out with the recycling after Election Day (photo courtesy Ari P.)

David Black Convicted, Sentenced for Wife’s Murder — An Arlington County jury this week found Arlington Ridge resident David Black guilty of murdering his wife. Bonnie Delgado Black was found stabbed to death in her home, which was just blocks from her estranged husband’s house, on April 17, 2015. Yesterday the jury recommended that Black serve two life sentences. [NBC 4, WTOP]

County Board Ditches New Year’s Day Meeting — Eschewing a long-standing tradition of holding its first meeting of the year on New Year’s Day, the Arlington County Board yesterday voted unanimously to hold its 2017 organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3. “We still will start our year off with the community, but without forcing employees to give up their personal and family time on a holiday,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. [Arlington County]

Retail Space for WeWork in Crystal City — The County Board on Saturday voted to convert 440 square feet of the WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City to ground floor retail space, at the request of WeWork. No word yet on what kind of a retailer may be moving in. [Arlington County]

More on Park Protests — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark has tackled the dual controversies of the baseball field fence in Bluemont Park (the Board acted on that yesterday, article coming soon) and the proposed Williamsburg Middle School athletic field lights. Clark concluded: “Popular sports for kids, peaceful green parks: competing Arlington virtues.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Evolent Health Stock Soars — As of 10 a.m. the share price for Ballston-based Evolent Health is up more than 12 percent today and nearly 70 percent for the year. The tech firm reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher-than-expected revenue in the third quarter of 2016. [CNBC, Yahoo]

Board Approves Loan for Apartment Renovations — The Culpepper Garden affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors will receive needed renovations thanks to a $9.9 million loan from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The County Board unanimously approved the loan yesterday. The renovations are expected to begin in the spring and will require tenants to temporarily move to other units on site while their units are renovated. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Ari P.

by ARLnow.com October 27, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Fall leaves

Murder Victim Feared for Her Safety — A friend of murder victim Bonnie Delgado Black said in court that she “was concerned if she would wake up in the morning” because of her estranged husband. A defense attorney for David Black, however, emphasized at trial that there’s a lack of physical evidence linking him to his wife’s murder. [Washington Post]

Rush Hour Offloading Peeves Riders — Metro riders were “furious” yesterday after a crowded train offloaded at the Rosslyn station during the morning rush hour due to a door problem. [Patch]

Pets Banned at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — In addition to most bikes, the Army has also banned all pets at Arlington National Cemetery. Only service animals or working military dogs will be permitted onto the cemetery grounds. [Washington Post]

Bra Collection at Ballston Market — Ballston’s weekly farmers market will be Halloween-themed this afternoon. The market will also be collecting new and gently used bras, to be donated to those in need. [Twitter]

Westover Neighborhood Profiled — One of the main attractions of living in the Westover neighborhood is the collection of stores and restaurants at Westover Village, residents say. [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com October 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Rosslyn at night, as seen from the Key Bridge

Woman Hit By SUV on Route 50 — A woman was struck and critically injured by an SUV while crossing Route 50 at Fillmore Street during Monday’s evening rush hour. The victim is expected to survive; lanes were closed while police investigated the crash. Nearby residents say the intersection is dangerous and accident-prone. [WUSA9, Twitter]

House Fire in Arlington View — There was an unusual house fire last night in the Arlington View neighborhood near Hoffman-Boston Elementary. A house’s gas meter caught fire, spreading flames into the home’s basement. The blaze was quickly extinguished, sparing the home from major damage. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Man Pleads Guilty in Hot Car Case — The man who accidentally left a friend’s two-year-old child in the backseat of a car, causing the toddler’s death, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Daiquan Fields was sentenced to a net six months in jail, time he had already served since the April incident, and is now on supervised probation. [NBC Washington]

Bonnie Black Murder Case Begins — The estranged husband of slain south Arlington mom Bonnie Black is now on trial for her murder. The trial of David Black started with opening statements on Monday; this morning witnesses for the prosecution are expected to be called. [WJLA]

Crystal City Post Office Moving — The post office along Crystal Drive in Crystal City is moving a few blocks down the road. The existing post office will be closed Thursday and Friday and the new post office, at 2180 Crystal Drive, will open Monday, Oct. 31. [Patch]

High Praise for Ambar — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar, which opened this month in the former Boulevard Woodgrill space, may get an indirect boost from TripAdvisor rankings. Ambar’s original Capitol Hill location is listed as the top-ranked D.C. area restaurant on TripAdvisor. [Washingtonian]

Amputee Athlete Visits Students — “Ghanian athlete and activist Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah recently visited with Arlington students to share his message that physical disabilities should not stop individuals from achieving their destiny.” [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com September 9, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Ludvin Estrada (photo courtesy ACPD)A man accused of strangling a woman and stuffing her dead body in his trunk is back in Arlington to face justice.

Ludvin Estrada, now 46, arrived back in the U.S. today and is being held at the Arlington County jail, according to a police press release. Estrada fled to Guatemala after the May 11, 1999 murder, police say, and was able to elude capture until this past April.

“The apprehension of Estrada is the direct result of outstanding police work and the leveraging of resources from our federal and international partners,” Arlington County Police said in a press release.

The rest of the press release is below.

Following a joint investigation by the Arlington County Police Department, the United States Department of State, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the United States Marshals Service and Guatemalan Law Enforcement, a subject wanted in the 1999 murder of Eva Veliz has been taken into custody in Guatemala and extradited to the United States. Ludvin Estrada, 46, arrived in the United States on Friday, September 9, 2016 and is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility charged with murder.

On May 11, 1999, at approximately 4:33 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to the report of a 27-year-old female victim located deceased inside the trunk of a vehicle parked in the 1300 block of N. Pierce Street. The investigation revealed that on the evening prior, the victim and the subject had been out dancing and were seen leaving together at approximately 2:45 a.m. on May 11, 1999. At some point, a verbal altercation ensued between the two and the subject strangled the victim causing her death. Estrada immediately fled to Guatemala where he remained until his capture in 2016.

A warrant was issued for Estrada in 1999 but efforts to locate him in Guatemala were unsuccessful. In 2012, the case was assigned to the Arlington County Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. Through a review of the case files, crime scene evidence and laboratory results detectives located additional information that verified Estrada’s involvement in the death of Eva Veliz. Efforts to locate and apprehend Estrada were resumed and he was taken into custody on April 11, 2016.

by ARLnow.com May 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

List of charges against MS-13 members (image via U.S. Attorney's Office)One Arlington resident, one Alexandria resident and six Falls Church residents were among the dozen suspects convicted of multiple gang-related murders, federal prosecutors said today.

Prosecutors say all 12 were members of the notorious MS-13 street gang, which has a presence in Northern Virginia.

The U.S. Attorney’s office issued the following press release Monday afternoon.

Six members of the street gang La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, were convicted today by a federal jury for their roles in three murders and one attempted murder in Northern Virginia, among other charges.

“These violent gang members brutally murdered three men and attempted to murder a fourth,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Extreme violence is the hallmark of MS-13, and these horrific crimes represent exactly what the gang stands for. This was a highly complicated, death penalty eligible case with 13 defendants and more than two dozen defense attorneys. To say I am proud of our trial team and investigative partners is an understatement. I want to thank them for their terrific work on this case and for bringing these criminals to justice.”

“The defendants terrorized our local communities with senseless, depraved acts of threats, intimidation and violence,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “They murdered in the name of MS-13, but as this jury’s verdict makes clear, no gang can protect them from facing justice for their crimes. This verdict sends a clear message that the FBI will hold violent gangs and murderers fully accountable for their actions.  I would like to thank the agents, analysts and prosecutors for their tireless efforts to eradicate gang violence in our communities.”

A total of 13 defendants were charged in this case. Of those, six defendants went to trial and were convicted of all charges. Six defendants pleaded guilty prior to trial, and one defendant was severed from the case and will have a separate trial at a later date. Please see the table at the end of this press release for additional information on each defendant.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on Oct. 1, 2013, Jose Lopez Torres, Jaime Rosales Villegas and others drove to Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge to murder a fellow gang member.  However, one of the gang members in the car had not only alerted police to the murder plot, he also made recorded phone calls and wore a body wire to a meeting where the gang members, including Pedro Anthony Romero Cruz, who participated from prison on a contraband cell phone, planned the murder. The gang members’ vehicle was under surveillance that night, the victim had been warned to not be at school, and the informant was wearing a body wire.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on Oct. 7, 2013, Torres, Omar DeJesus Castillo, Juan Carlos Marquez Ayala, Araely Santiago Villanueva, Jose Del Cid, and three others murdered fellow gang member Nelson Omar Quintanilla Trujillo. The gang believed Trujillo was a snitch, and so the gang members lured him to Holmes Run Park in Falls Church, and brutally killed him by stabbing him with knives and slashing him with a machete. When they were done they buried Trujillo in a shallow grave.  Several gang members returned a short time later and, with the assistance of Alvin Gaitan Benitez, reburied the body of Trujillo.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on March 29, 2014, Castillo, Benitez, Christian Lemus Cerna, Manuel Ernesto Paiz Guevara, Villanueva, Del Cid, and one other murdered Gerson Adoni Martinez Aguilar, a gang recruit, for breaking gang rules.  Like Trujillo, the gang members lured him to Holmes Run Park and killed him. They stabbed him repeatedly, cut off his head, and then buried him in a shallow grave.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on June 19, 2014, Jesus Alejandro Chavez, Del Cid, and Genaro Sen Garcia murdered Julio Urrutia. Several gang members including Chavez, who had been released from prison eight days earlier, were out looking for rival gang members when they approached a group of young men, flashed their gang signs, and challenged them about their gang affiliation. During the exchange Chavez pulled out a gun and shot Urrutia in the neck at point blank range.

Each defendant convicted at trial faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison when sentenced.  Villegas and Cruz face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit murder charge, in addition to a consecutive minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.  Villegas also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the attempted murder charge. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

by ARLnow.com April 1, 2016 at 11:55 am 0

Arlington police carArlington’s crime rate dipped by about 6 percent last year, according to new crime data from the Arlington County Police Department.

It’s the second consecutive year of a crime decline. In 2014, the crime rate dropped by 8.22 percent. In 2013, crime increased just over 3 percent.

The crime rate takes into account only “Part I” offenses — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Of those categories, three saw increases in 2015. Robberies were up from 110 to 115, a 4.5 percent increase, aggravated assaults rose from 141 to 144, a 2.1 percent increase, and homicides doubled — from 1 to 2.

Excluding the police shooting of a combative, metal pole-wielding domestic violence suspect — deemed a justifiable homicide but included in the statistics — the homicide rate would have remained steady. The one criminal homicide of the year was the murder of Bonnie Delgado Black; the trial of Black’s estranged husband, David Black, on first degree murder charges is scheduled to begin June 13.

More details on the crime rate, from ACPD, are below.

Arlington’s overall crime rate decreased by 6.01% in 2015. This is the second year in a row the overall crime rate in Arlington County decreased. The crime data is collected using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

The grand total of Part I offenses (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) was 3,631 in 2015, down from 3,863 in 2014. Additionally, the Police Department received a total of 87,475 calls for service during the calendar year. “Safe communities are built on strong partnerships between police and the communities they serve,” commented Chief of Police M. Jay Farr. “We are committed to engaging with our citizens and making our community safer together.”

Following current national trends, property crimes declined in Arlington County in 2015. The largest decrease were the number of burglaries, down 13.59%. In addition, larcenies decreased by 7.08%. Motor vehicle theft resulted in the largest increase at 11.03%. The Arlington County Police Department is reminding citizens to always keep doors locked and windows up whenever leaving their vehicle unattended. Valuables should be removed from sight and never store a spare key inside your vehicle.

There were two categories that experiences marginal increases in 2015. Robberies increased from 110 in 2014 to 115 in 2015, a 4.55% increase. Aggravated assaults increased from 141 in 2014 to 144 in 2015, a 2.13% increase. There were two homicides last year in Arlington County, both stemming from domestic-related incidents. There was no change in the number of rapes reported. The police department will continue to be a visible presence throughout Arlington County as officers actively patrol areas and investigate reports.

The Arlington County Police Department remains focused on the reduction of the incidents of crime, and the improvement of quality of life in Arlington County. We will continue to work diligently to reduce crime and keep Arlington’s neighborhoods safe by concentrating on our commitment to community engagement, transportation safety and crime control.

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