Updated: Suspected MS-13 Members Accused of Murdering Silver Spring Man in Frederick County
Body found in shallow grave in June; men from Silver Spring, Greenbelt face charges, denied bail
Carlos Javier Hernandez Diaz and Darwin Alberto Arias-Meijia.
Via Frederick County Sheriff's Office
Updated 11:20 a.m. Wednesday: A Silver Spring man’s body was found in a shallow grave in Frederick County in June, and now men with ties to MS-13 are accused of his murder.
Frederick County police identified the body as Victor Antonio Turcios-Valle, 37, in July. Two 24-year-old men—Carlos Javier Hernandez Diaz, of Silver Spring, and Darwin Alberto Arias-Meijia, of Greenbelt—were indicted Friday and face murder charges. On Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court, the men were ordered held without bail.
The Frederick News-Post first reported the indictments on Tuesday.
Prosecutors claim the men were working on behalf of the criminal gang MS-13 when they participated in Turcios-Valle’s murder sometime around April 2, according to the indictment.
Four other men are accused of conspiring with Hernandez Diaz and Arias-Meijia in the murder, according to the indictment.
Maj. Tim Clarke with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that Denis Aristides Rivas-Aldana (pictured left), a 21-year-old from Boyds, had also been arrested and indicted in the case.
Rivas-Aldana is scheduled for bail review at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Frederick County Circuit Court.
Turcios-Valle’s family reported him missing to Montgomery County police on April 2, according to the News-Post. At the time, police did not issue a press release that he was missing. They have said press releases are reserved for cases in which the person is considered to be in danger.
A hiker found Turcios-Valle’s body in a shallow grave north of Frederick near Gambrill Park Road, according to The News-Post. Police identified him by his tattoos and through DNA testing.
Judge Julia Martz-Fisher denied bail to both defendants, citing the seriousness of the charges, although lawyers offered few details about the crime.
Hernandez Diaz, who identified himself as Carlos Hernandez, and Arias-Meijia both participated in the hearing through a video feed from elsewhere. They both had short cropped hair and wore prisoner uniforms.
Defense attorney Mary Riley, who represented both men, said she did not have enough information to adequately make a case for bail for Hernandez and she would request another review at a later date.
Riley asked that Arias-Meijia be granted bail, noting that he is engaged and has one child, with another on the way.
“He does have ties to the community,” she said. “He doesn’t have a long criminal history, and we don't have much information other than the indictment.”
Prosecutor Jason Shoemaker argued in court that, even without the full details of the crime, the murder charges and ties to MS-13 made the defendants “a huge safety risk” to the public.
“We believe the court has enough information to hold him without bond,” he said.
The three men face charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and gang-affiliations connected to a death-related crime, according to court records. They face a possible maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.