An MS-13 Gang Member Wanted A Promotion. So, He Went On A Killing Spree To Boost His Resume.

maryland murder
Source: Anne Arundel County Police; MEGA

May 7 2023, Published 12:05 p.m. ET

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A Maryland man and MS-13 gang member committed a triple homicide to get promoted.

Now, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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U.S. District Court Chief Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Juan Carlos Sandoval-Rodriguez, aka ”El Pastor,” aka “Gasper,” aka “Picaro,” 24, to life without the possibility of parole in federal prison for the brutal murders in the Anne Arundel County, Maryland, area.

After a three-month trial and another 9-day trial, Sandoval-Rodriguez was convicted of triple murders in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.

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According to prosecutors, Sandoval-Rodriguez belonged to the gang’s Annapolis clique “Fulton Locos Salvatruchas.” In a bid to gain seniority status within the gang, the defendant brutally murdered members of rival gangs, prosecutors said.

On March 11, 2016, Sandoval-Rodriguez lured an unsuspecting gang member to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. While his associates secured the park’s perimeters to avoid detection by law enforcement or eyewitnesses, the victim was struck on the head with a stick and fatally stabbed repeatedly. Authorities found his body over a year later in a shallow grave.

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Sandoval-Rodriguez claimed the life of a second victim on March 31, 2017. The defendant lured the 17-year-old rival gang member, Irvin Orellana, to Wheaton Regional Park. Then, Sandoval-Rodriguez and co-defendants Milton Portillo-Rodriguez, aka “Little Gangster,” aka “Seco,” 26, Oscar Armando Sorto-Romero, aka “Lobo,” 23, and Jose Joya-Parada, aka “Calmado,” 21, stabbed the victim more than 100 times.

Next, they dismembered him, cut out his heart, and buried the victim in a hidden grave.

On June 24, 2017, a 21-year-old Jenni Lopez-Rivera, 21, was lured by another female member of Sandoval-Rodriguez’s crew to a wooded area in Crownsville, Maryland, where she was fatally stabbed repeatedly, decapitated and dismembered. Before the slaying, Sandoval-Rodriguez had gone to the area and dug a grave in preparedness for the homicide. Portillo-Rodriguez was instrumental in planning the victim’s murder.

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“The victim screamed as she was being driven around the Annapolis area before eventually arriving in the wooded area in Crownsville,” prosecutors said, according to Capital Gazette.

After the slaying, Sandoval-Rodriguez and his co-defendants were promoted.

Portillo-Rodriguez, and Sorto-Romero were both sentenced to life in federal prison for the multiple murders, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit racketeering. In addition, Joya-Parada was also sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for similar charges.


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