BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A teenager was stabbed more than 100 times by MS-13 gang members, who mistakenly believed he was a rival.
MS-13 is known for beheading people, dismembering people with machetes and now a young mother of two will serve decades in prison for bringing Christian Morales, 18, to a Montgomery County park to face his death.
Morales is one of the latest victims in a wave of killings in Maryland linked to the notoriously violent gang MS-13, which has strong ties to El Salvador.
Gang members stabbed him 153 times, because they believed he was a member of a rival gang. He wasn’t. Morales’ mother spoke about her son through a translator.
“He was an amazing person. He was so good with me and he never walked in unrighteous paths,” the translator said for Bertha Morales, the victim’s mother.
A judge sentenced Vanessa Alvarado to 40 years in prison this week. Prosecutors say she is associated with MS-13 and lured Morales to Malcolm King Park where a group of MS-13 members ambushed him, that she laughed about it and even came back to the grisly scene to show other friends the body.
None of it is surprising to Tony Avendorph, a retired Maryland officer who specialized in gangs.
“They’re all brutal, but as far as I’m concerned in the 40 years that I was in law enforcement, they’re in the top three,” Avendorph said.
Avendorph points to a gang pipeline on the East Coast.
In February, police arrested two MS-13 gang members near Baltimore for a murder.
In March, a Baltimore City jury acquitted another MS-13 member in a triple shooting.
“I know their propensity for violence and it’s not going to stop,” Avendorph said.
One of Morales’ other suspected killers Oscar Perez had been deported already twice to El Salvador before the killing.
President Donald Trump has vowed to step up deportations.
“Not pleasant for MS-13. Get them the hell out of here, all right? Get them out,” he said.
Perez pleaded guilty to federal immigration charges.
The Department of Justice estimates there are more than 10,000 MS-13 members across 40 states.
Police said MS-13 is increasingly recruiting through social media and in schools targeting vulnerable teenagers.