By Mike Hellgren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The violent El Salvadoran gang MS-13 is expanding in Maryland. MS is behind numerous murders in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, but recently sources say MS-13 may be linked to multiple murders in Anne Arundel county. Sources tell WJZ MS-13 gang members lured 21-year-old Jenni Rivera Lopez into a wooded area in Crownsville and beat her to death.

She’s one of at least three victims of gang-related killings in the county in recent months. Police, prosecutors and the county executive announced a gang crackdown late last month, but they have not revealed many details about the murders.

Charging documents WJZ obtained say a source tipped off prosecutors to “a clandestine grave in the area of Chesterfield Road and Hawkins Road.. investigators recovered a female body from the location that had suffered significant trauma,” Police have charged five people in connection with he murder–people who took Rivera Lopez to Crownsville and participated in the killing. They have relied on confidential informants but have yet to release a motive.

WJZ has extensively covered MS-13 killings in Maryland. The mother of another young victim in Maryland said her daughter was targeted in school and urged parents to watch who associates with their children.

Retired gang unit investigator Tony Avendorph, who has worked with Prince George’s County Police, told Investigator Mike Hellgren, “Never underestimate [MS-13]. They’re now told to videotape killings to provide proof to gang leaders… if they feel that they have been disrespected…they will commit these heinous crimes.” Avendorph says the gang also has a presence in Baltimore.

All five remain behind bars right now. They include Brenda Argueta, Ervin Arrue-Figuero, Ronald Mendez-Sosa, Darvin Guerra-Zacarias and Francisco Ramirez-Pena.

In an unrelated case, Maryand’s U.S. Attorney announced charges against eight MS-13 members for murder, gun and drug trafficking, and extortion. They are:

Carlos Roberto Tejada Cruz, a/k/a “Krusty,” age 20, of Beltsville, Maryland;

Kevin Alexis Hernandez-Guevara, a/k/a “Stop,” age 20, of Landover Hills, Maryland;

Rolando Aristides Juarez-Vasquez, a/k/a “Virus,” a/k/a “Daffy,” age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland;

Jeffry Rodriguez, a/k/a “Hyper,” age 21, of Beltsville, Maryland;

Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente,” a/k/a “Trankilo,” age 20, of Landover, Maryland;

Michael Eduardo Contreras, a/k/a “Katra,” a/k/a “Insoportable,” age 22, of Silver Spring, Maryland;

Luis Fernando Orellana-Estrada, a/k/a “Pinguino,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland; and

Donald Roberto Mendez-Lopez, a/k/a “Chuckie,” age 18, of Hyattsville, Maryland.

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