MS-13 Member’s Trail Shows Gang’s Movement

Jana Wagoner, Loudon Times (Leesburg, Va.), March 31, 2010

Sixty years.

That’s how long Antonio Neftali Urrutia-Barrera, 20, of Reston, will spend in federal prison after being sentenced March 19 for two of the many crimes he either committed or is accused of committing in late summer and early fall 2008.

One of those crimes was a triple shooting in Sterling Park that left a Loudoun resident paralyzed from the waist down.

During a period of a little more than two months, Urrutia-Barrera–who is in the country illegally from Central America–spent time in three Virginia counties and one Maryland county.

His crimes left at least four innocent bystanders injured. They also highlight how gangs sometimes work in one area for months and then move to a new region as members try to elude capture. While law enforcement has begun to curtail MS-13 crime in Northern Virginia, according to a 2009 FBI report, the gang has spread into southern Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.

Urrutia-Barrera’s crimes were committed while the gang was more active in Loudoun and Fairfax.

A violent beginning

Federal court documents say Urrutia-Barrera, also known as “Lil Duende,” joined MS-13 as an associate member in 2006 at the age of 16. He was jumped in as a full member in 2008 when he was 18. Jumping in is a ritual in which three current MS-13 members kick and punch an associate member for 13 seconds to initiate him or her as a full member.

Once he became a full member, it didn’t take Urrutia-Barrera long to get involved in attacking people he perceived to be members of the 18th Street gang, MS-13’s rival.

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While Urrutia-Barrera has been convicted of two attacks in Loudoun County in 2008, the more violent attack of the two happened Sept. 17.

Court documents say that Urrutia-Barrera and other MS-13 members were drinking in Sugarland Run that night when they decided to go to the home of another MS-13 member to continue the party.

“Before everyone left, a leader in the clique handed a .38 revolver to [Urrutia-Barrera],” the documents say.

While sitting in the front passenger seat, Urrutia-Barrera thought he saw a group of 18th Street members at the entrance of Buckingham Court in Sterling Park.

Urrutia-Barrera’s group entered Buckingham Court, and as they drove out, Urrutia-Barrera pulled out the revolver and shot at the group, wounding three.

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Later that night, an MS-13 praised Urrutia-Barrera for the shootings.

After an Oct. 6 attack in Reston that left two men injured with gunshot wounds, Urrutia-Barrera spent several days, possibly a week at an MS-13 leader’s home in Maryland.

Then, at the suggestion of one of the NLS leaders, he fled to Richmond and stayed in a hotel room with a fellow MS-13 member, court documents say.

While in Richmond, Urrutia-Barrera participated in what police called the most violent MS-13 act the region had seen up to that point.

He and fellow gang members saw a man in a restaurant/night club in Chesterfield County who they mistakenly identified as an 18th Street gang member.

They followed the man into the restroom and stabbed him five times, once in the heart. The man survived but lost partial use of a hand and has several scars.

Urrutia-Barrera was convicted of malicious wounding in the case and is serving state time for it.

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