Two alleged members of MS-13 have agreed to plead guilty in a racketeering case to multiple murders and serve life in prison. Two others have agreed to plead guilty and potentially serve 35-40 years in prison.
The four men were among 23 alleged MS-13 gangsters in Columbus who were busted in February 2018. They were charged with racketeering conspiracy, which includes five murders as well as attempted murder, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking, assault, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, weapons offenses and immigration-related violations.
34-year-old Martin Neftali Aguilar-Rivera, who goes by the nickname “Momia,” pleaded guilty on Monday and admitted responsibility for participating in five murders. He now faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release.
Likewise, a plea agreement was filed Monday for 30-year-old Jose Bonilla-Mejia, nicknamed “Espia”. He offered to accept responsibility for his role in three murders and serve life in prison without the possibility of release.
Machetes, knives, and hammers
The murders often involved defendants using weapons like machetes, knives and hammers to attack and beat their victims to death. In two of the charged murders, the victims were stabbed and slashed with bladed weapons before being buried in a nearby park.
In December 2006 the crew murdered Jose Mendez because they suspected him of being a confidential informant. In November 2008 they killed Ramon Ramos. In mid-2015 they killed suspected rival gang member Carlos Serrano-Ramos near Innis Road in Columbus. In November 2015 they murdered Wilson Villeda near the same area. In December 2016 they killed yet another suspected rival gangster, Salvador Martinez-Diaz, on Melroy Avenue in Columbus.
24-year-old Jose Manuel Romero-Parada and 28-year-old Jose Salvador Gonzalez-Campos also agreed to plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy and accept responsibility for taking part in multiple homicides and other gang-related crimes, including drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering. They face a sentence of 35 to 40 years in prison.
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