LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA – A native of El Salvador and an admitted member of the MS-13 gang was sentenced Monday to more than two years in prison on drug and firearm charges.
Maricio Alexander Henriquez, 20, pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance, gang participation with a juvenile member and possession of a firearm while in possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance.
In late September 2015, Leesburg Police detectives arrested an individual in a local apartment complex. During the arrest, the individual told detectives that they had just left an apartment where there were narcotics inside, according to Heather Williamson, spokeswoman for the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Detectives subsequently knocked on the door, where Henriquez answered the and gave police a false name and allowed them to go inside the apartment.
Detectives, according to reports, saw drugs and paraphernalia in plain view, at which time Henriquez asked them to leave unless they had a search warrant.
While waiting for a search warrant, detectives were able to identify Henriquez and determine that he had an outstanding arrest warrant and take him into custody. Upon execution of the search warrant, detectives found suspected synthetic marijuana, smoking devices, a blue .22 caliber firearm with “503” and “La Mara” engravings and individually packaged bags of cocaine.
During an interview with detectives, Williamson said Henriquez admitted to being a member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) criminal street gang, and that the handgun engravings were identifiers of the gang.
Henriquez went on to say that he was responsible for recruiting new members, including juveniles for the gang, and that the drugs and gun were provided to him by other MS-13 gang members.
Circuit Court Judge Stephen E. Sincavage sentenced Henriquez to serve two years and eight months in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Henriquez, a native of El Salvador is in the United States illegally. Although an additional four years of suspended penitentiary time was also imposed, a federal immigration detainer has been placed on Henriquez to ensure his removal from the country upon the completion of his two year and eight-month sentence, Williamson said.