Five people are facing murder charges in what Anne Arundel County police describe as a plot to kill an Annapolis woman later found buried in a secret grave last month in Crownsville.
Jenni B. Rivera Lopez, 21, was driven June 24 to a remote spot on or near the grounds of Camp Barrett, a youth camp on the outskirts of Annapolis.
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The charges were the subject of two news conferences held Sept. 29 and on Friday by county police Chief Tim Altomare, who said charges had been filed in three gang-related killings but declined to provide details. The chief did not identify the gang, but members of the community familiar with the investigation have identified it as MS-13.
The El Salvadoran gang, which has gained strength in the Washington, D.C., suburbs in recent years, has been linked to recent violent crimes in the Annapolis area.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Rivera Lopez’s death a homicide, and police noted in charging documents that she suffered significant trauma.
Police said the homicide was orchestrated by at least five people in varying ways — Darvin E. Guerra-Zacarias, 25, of Silver Spring; Francisco Ramirez-Pena, 22, of unknown origin; Brenda Y. Argueta, 18, of Silver Spring; Ervin N. Arrue-Figuero, 18, of Annapolis; and Ronald Adonay Mendez-Sosa, 19, of Edgewater.
All five are being held without bond, court records show. They are represented by the state Office of the Public Defender. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment.
Argueta began contacting Rivera Lopez days before the killing, police wrote, and she convinced the woman to go out with her and other suspects June 24.
The woman and the others, including Guerra-Zacarias, Ramirez-Pena and Arrue-Figuero, then took Rivera Lopez to Crownsville where she was killed, charging documents state.
Mendez-Sosa allegedly drove to the spot with the others, where police say they met with Rivera Lopez.