CROWNSVILLE, MD (The San Diego Union-Tribune) – All five people charged in the brutal death of an Annapolis woman last month are wanted by immigration officials because they may have entered the country without documentation.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have detainer requests for the four men and one woman. All five have been charged with murder and other offenses in the death of Jenni B. Rivera Lopez, 21, of Annapolis, who was killed and buried in a grave hidden in Crownsville last month.
Four — Francisco Ramirez-Pena, Ronald Adonay Mendez-Sosa, Brenda Yaneth Argueta and Ervin N. Arrue-Figuero — are El Salvadoran citizens in the United States without documentation. The fifth, Darvin Estuard Guerra-Zacarias, is from Mexico and also is apparently in the country without documentation.
Ramirez-Pena, who police said supplied the weapon used to kill Rivera Lopez, has been wanted by federal officials since 2013, when an immigration judge issued a final order for his deportation.
ICE spokeswoman Carrisa Cutrell said the judge issued a final order of removal for Ramirez-Pena in May 2013 after he failed to appear for a deportation hearing. A final order typically comes with a ban on returning to the United States for a period of years.
He appealed and, in April 2014, an immigration judge issued a voluntary departure order, allowing Ramirez-Pena a path back into the United States at a later date.
“Mr. Ramirez-Pena, however, did not depart the country and is now subject to a final order of removal,” Cutrell wrote in an email.
In asking Anne Arundel County officials to hold the other four, ICE officials wrote they all made statements to immigration officials or there is “other reliable evidence” that shows they are undocumented immigrants.
Anne Arundel police said there have been three gang-related killings in the county, but have not provided any details of what gang or gangs are responsible.
Some members of the community have pointed to MS-13, a gang based in El Salvador that has seen a resurgence in the Washington, D.C., suburbs in recent years.
Capt. Paul Liquorie, director of special investigations of the Montgomery County Police Department, said the only other notable El Salvador-based gang is 18th Street, which he said doesn’t have a large presence in the region.
The four from El Salvador also fit a group often targeted by the gang for recruitment, young people in the country without papers. All four are 22 years old or younger.