MS-13 in the Richmond Metro Area - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

MS-13 in the Richmond Metro Area


NBC12 investigated where MS-13 is in the Richmond Metro Area, asking each locality to tell us what kinds of crimes they've seen by the gang in the last five years.

In Chesterfield this year, two men claiming to be MS-13 members were suspects in a Meadowdale burglary. In 2012, three MS-13 members who lived in Chesterfield were charged with the murder of Osbin Hernandez near Pony Pasture. They were later convicted of the crime in Richmond.

That same year, two MS-13 members from Chesterfield were charged with rape and conviction. Officials say the two teen gang members raped a 15-year-old Chesterfield girl, threatening her with a machete. They threatened that they would not take her home unless there was an "exchange".

In 2011, Chesterfield reported MS-13 related graffiti painted at the Chesterfield Village Apartments.

Three years before, two MS-13 members were involved in an October stabbing.

In Henrico, police say they haven't seen any crimes attributed to MS-13 since 2011. That year, they say they had a few assault arrests, drug charges, and graffiti incidents.  

In 2010, police reported more graffiti, but no "significant activity" in 2008 or 2009.

In Richmond, police gave us 15 different cases at least loosely tied to MS-13. They were also the only jurisdiction to grant an interview.

"Usually what happens when they commit these crimes is they are somewhat organized," said Major Steve Drew with the Richmond Police Department. "When we talk about robberies or auto theft, prostitution. A portion of that money goes back to El Salvador and that brings over new members and people into the United States."

Police say the MS-13 gang members in Richmond have about 4-5 sects, primarily located in the Southside.

"In and around the Latino/Hispanic communities," said Drew. "But they have not been able to establish a strong foot-hold in our city. We have a lot of turnover, a lot of arrests."

Police say gang members from MS-13 keep coming to town, but neighbors have been good about reporting activity - which discourages the gangs from settling.

Hanover County officials report no crimes affiliated with MS-13 in the past five years, but we're told the sheriff is regularly talking with neighboring counties about what to watch for.

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