FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2016
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
MS-13 GANG MEMBER ENTERS GUILTY PLEAS
SENTENCING SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 10, 2016
LEESBURG, Virginia – August 4, 2016. Jose Israel Alvarenga., 19, appeared before Judge J. Howe Brown, Jr. in Loudoun County Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to one count of gang participation, one count of malicious wounding and one count of felony obstruction of justice.
On November 7, 2015, Alvarenga approached a young man in Leesburg whom he believed to be a member of the 18th Street gang. The victim denied any involvement in the 18th Street gang and Alvarenga demanded that he join the MS-13 gang. The victim knew Alvarenga to be a leader of a local MS-13 gang clique. The victim advised Alvarenga that he did not wish to join a gang and began to walk away. Alvarenga then kicked the victim in the back and told him that he would kill him if he did not join MS-13. The victim fled from the area.
Less than one week later, law enforcement officers with the Leesburg Police Department and the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force responded to Northeast Leesburg for a report of a stabbing. Witnesses told law enforcement that they had seen a young man stumble out of a nearby wooded area before falling to the ground in the common area of the apartment complex. The victim was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries.
Once medically stable, the victim advised detectives that he had been standing in the parking lot his apartment complex when two men he knew to be MS-13 gang members approached him and began assaulting him. The two MS-13 members identified as Josue Jeremias Cruz Gonzalez and Jose Roel Guevara Machado, drug the victim into the woods where they repeatedly struck him in the head and attempted to stab him in the chest with a machete-style bladed weapon. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds to his head, neck and hands. The victim also lost a finger in the attack and suffered permanent scarring to his face, ear, head, neck and hands.
Alvarenga was arrested on November 16, 2015, on warrants related to his November 7th assault on the victim. Once incarcerated, Alvarenga began offering other inmates money if they would kill the victim prior to him being able to testify in Alvarenga’s trial. Alvarenga specifically wanted a photo of the victim’s head cut off as proof. Alvarenga told his fellow inmates that he had previously instructed Cruz Gonzalez and Machado to kill the victim, but that they had failed.
Alvarenga is scheduled to be sentenced on November 10, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Loudoun County Circuit Court. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
Cruz Gonzalez, 20, pleaded guilty to malicious wounding and gang participation on July 22, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on November 3, 2016 and faces up 30 years in prison.
Guevara Machado, 21, pleaded guilty to malicious wounding and gang participation on July 25, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on October 14, 2016 and faces up to 30 years in prison.
All three men continue to be held in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond pending their final sentencing hearings.