HOUSTON – A seventh MS-13 gang member has been indicted in connection with the death of a police informant who was found hacked to death in Cullinan Park.
Carlos Elias Henriquez-Torres, 20, was in state custody on related charges and is set to appear in court for the first time Friday for his role in the death, according to federal officials.
Henriquez-Torres, along with six other El Salvadorian natives are facing charges of conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering in connection with the 2018 death. Wilson Jose Ventura-Mejia, 24, Jimmy Villalobos-Gomez, 23, Angel Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa, 35, Walter Antonio Chicas-Garcia, 23, Marlon Miranda-Moran, 21, and Franklin Trejo-Chavarria, 23, were also arrested and charged in connection with the death. All but two of the men were residing illegally in Houston, officials say. Villalobos-Gomez is a legal permanent resident and Trejo-Chavarria is in custody in El Salvador, according to a news release from federal officials.
The indictment alleges they committed the June 6, 2018, murder of 25-year-old Victor Castro-Martinez to get ahead in the MS-13 enterprise. The victim was hacked to death with a machete, according to police.
According to court documents, Castro-Martinez was working as a police informant and was wearing a recording device when he was taken to the southwest Houston park under false pretenses. Castro-Martinez sent his handling officer a text with his location, which was the last communication he sent to the officer, according to the documents.
A recording device that had been given to Castro-Martinez by his handling officer was found in his pocket, according to the court documents.
Cellphone records of people who were already under police surveillance helped narrow down people who were in the park with Castro-Martinez when he was killed, according to the documents.
These arrests were part of a larger operation aimed at combating gang violence in the Houston region. Click here to read more about that operation.
If convicted, all of the men could face the death penalty.