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Defendant Pleads Guilty to Murder

Osmin Heriberto Alfaro-Fuentes pleaded guilty Thursday, Sept. 1 to the May 16, 2004 murder of 17-year-old Herndon High School student Jose Sandoval.

Alfaro-Fuentes, 25, and Alirio Reyes, 26, approached Sandoval and a teenage girl who were walking near Cavalier Drive and Park Avenue in Herndon in May 2004, according to U.S. District Court documents.

"Alfaro knew that Reyes was armed with a .38 caliber weapon. Alfaro also knew that if the juveniles were rival gang members, Reyes would shoot them," according to the statement of facts agreed to by Alfaro-Fuentes at his plea hearing.

When Sandoval told them he was a member of a rival gang, Reyes fired several shots, according to the statement of facts. Sandoval was killed after being shot in the thorax/abdomen area, while the teenage girl was shot in the back. The girl was hospitalized for approximately 10 days.

Two months before the shooting, Alfaro-Fuentes fired four shots into a vehicle occupied by five rival gang members, at a party on Bond Street in Herndon on March 13, 2004, according to court documents. No one was injured in the shooting, but a firearms examiner determined that the bullets were fired from the same weapon used in the murder of Sandoval, according to the court documents.

Reyes and Alfaro-Fuentes, who has a tattoo of "MS" across his forehead, fled to Los Angeles after the murder, where they were arrested on June 18, 2004 by members of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

"MS-13 members traveled throughout the United States to attend gang meetings, engaged in gang-related crimes, and avoided apprehension by law enforcement," according to the statement of facts. "MS-13 gang members periodically wired money collected during clique and general meetings to Los Angeles and El Salvador for gang-related purposes."

<b>HERNDON DETECTIVES</b> interviewed Alfaro-Fuentes July 2, 2004, when he admitted that he was present with Reyes at the May 2004 shooting.

"Alfaro-Fuentes denied being the shooter and stated that the only other people present, besides himself and Reyes, were the two victims," according to court documents.

Reyes, who pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go to trial later this month.

Alfaro-Fuentes, who pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering, is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Reyes and Alfaro-Fuentes, natives of El Salvador, "entered the U.S. illegally at an unknown point in the past and obtained temporary protected status through Immigration and Naturalization Service in approximately 2002," according to other court documents.

<1b>— Ken Moore