BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The last of three gang members from MS-13 plead guilty Friday to using Facebook to lure a victim to Maryland where he was drowned and then stabbed repeatedly with a machete.
Court papers showed that 23-year-old Reynaldo “Fuego” Granados-Vasquez, 22-year-old Neris Moreno-Martinez, and 21-year-old Jose “Liar” Melendez-Rivera kidnapped and murdered Jordy Mejia, whom they believed to be a member of a rival gang.
According to their plea agreements, the three defendants were a part of the L.A. clique of MS-13. All three were citizens of El Salvador and unlawfully present in the United States.
Moreno-Martinez told Melendez-Rivera that Mejia was a part of the rival “18th Street Gang” during the summer of 2016. There is no evidence that Mejia was actually a member of any gang.
The two then got approval from MS-13 “homeboys” to murder Mejia.
Moreno-Martinez created a Facebook account in the name of “Shaila Smith” on or before Oct. 1, 2016 and used the account, with help from his minor girlfriend, to tell Mejia that “Smith” was romantically interested in him with the goal of tricking Mejia into coming to Maryland so that the three defendants could murder him.
Mejia traveled from New Jersey to Maryland Oct. 15. at the direction of Moreno-Martinez, acting as “Smith.”
Moreno-Martinez and Granados-Vasquez were driven to a home near a wooded area off of Game Preserve Rd. so that they could lay in wait for Mejia.
Once in Maryland, Mejia was told to go to Melendez-Rivera’s address on Pine Ridge Ln. in Germantown where Melendez-Rivera picked him up and brought him back to where Granados-Vasquez and Moreno-Martinez were waiting.
The two chased after Mejia, with Granados-Vasquez kicking him into a small stream.
Melendez-Rivera and Moreno-Martinez then held Mejia’s head underwater, drowning him.
After the murder, the three defendants carried Mejia’s body into the woods nearby where they dug a shallow grave and then took turns stabbing Mejia’s dead body with two machetes they had brought with them.
Melendez-Rivera is scheduled for sentencing on April 25 and faces up to life in prison.
Moreno-Martinez is scheduled for sentencing May 3 and faces 292 to 365 months in prison.
Granados-Vasquez is scheduled for sentencing May 13 and faces 240 to 324 months in prison.