Thursday, 14 May 2009
Carlos “Ciego” Bladimir Montoya is an active member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha,was arrested on Sunday, May 3
Carlos “Ciego” Bladimir Montoya is an active member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13. Montoya was arrested on Sunday, May 3 in eastern Loudoun.
Montoya joined the ULS clique of MS-13 in 2002, and rose to become its leader. At the time of Montoya’s arrest last week, on federal charges of Aiding and Abetting Murder in the Aide of Racketeering, he was staying at a residence in Sterling.
Montoya’s gang-related activities were not limited to Loudoun. On May 5, 2007 in Fairfax County, police were called to an apartment complex after residents reported gunshots fired in the area. When Fairfax Police arrived, they found the dead body of Melvin “Pelon” Aguilar Reyes lying in the parking lot. Pelon was a member of the 18th Street gang, the rival gang of MS-13.The FBI was able to solve the case after a confidential witness spoke to the investigator about their role in the May 5, 2007 murder of Reyes. The witness admitted that he/she, along with four other MS-13 members, went to the apartment “patrolling” for chavalas—rival gang members or associates identified as disloyal. The five MS-13 gang members, driven by Montoya in his black Lexus, set their sights on Reyes. Montoya later confessed to FBI officials that two of these members had handguns, one of which was a revolver. According to Montoya, he drove to the back of the apartment buildings, parked on the street, and three of the gang members exited his vehicle. Reportedly, the three individuals told Montoya to wait in the car and to keep it running. They ran toward the apartment building when Montoya heard shots fired. When the three returned to the car, according to Montoya, they “bragged” of how they had shot the chavala and he had “fallen down.”According to court documents, Reyes was known to have had prior run-ins with members of MS-13. In an interview, Montoya described him as “cocky and all tatted up.” This was the second time Montoya had gone searching for the 18th Street gang member. Just a few days before, the same group had searched for “Pelon,” but could not locate him.On Sunday, May 3, the future of Montoya’s leadership in this part of MS-13 came to a swift end when a sheriff’s deputy recognized a vehicle registered to Montoya parked at a residence on Samantha Drive in Sterling. Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant and too Montoya into custody for the 2007 homicide of Reyes.Montoya faces federal charges of Aiding and Abetting Murder in the Aid of Racketeering under Title 18 of the United States Code. Montoya–originally held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center–has now been transferred to federal authorities.In the wake of the recent homicide in Lansdowne less than two months ago, Loudoun residents are particularly sensitive to gang-related issues. After March 22, when Potomac Station residents William Bennett was murdered and wife Cynthia brutally beaten during a Sunday morning walk, residents demanded answers. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office captured four suspects in six weeks—with not much more than a white van as a clue. When four suspects were arrested with “loose ties” to a nationally recognized gang, old questions turned into new concerns.
Although Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson could only say the motive was most likely robbery, he remains certain the attack was not connected to a gang initiation or ritual.Gang Response Team Coordinator Edward Ryan of the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force said that although things are under the microscope more now than they were before the Lansdowne murder, gang activity is no more prevalent than it was at this time last year. Ryan notes the Gang Task Forces philosophy is three-pronged: suppression (which works more for law enforcement), intervention and prevention. They provide services to kids and families at risk, instilling positive role models to prevent furthering the gang lifestyle. Non-profits and other organizations are involved–hoping that the converged efforts will curtail future gang activity.
At the April 30 Community Meeting at the National Conference Center, Sergeant David Zuleger acknowledged the existence of four gangs in the Loudoun area—MS-13, 18th Street Gang, the Bloods and the Crips–with a total of 180-200 members. Zuleger runs the seven-person Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit. The unit’s functions include gang-related investigations, intelligence gathering, training, inter-agency support and suppression.