COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An MS-13 member who participated in multiple murders, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, and extorting victims was sentenced in federal court to 420 months in prison.
Cruz Alberto-Arbarngas, 34, of Columbus, is the 10th defendant to be convicted and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for committing murder on behalf of the transnational criminal organization. In total, 22 defendants have been convicted and eight murders solved as part of the law enforcement effort to dismantle the Columbus clique of MS-13, according to a media release from U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker.
The murders include: 1) the December 2006 murder of Jose Mendez, a suspected confidential informant, in Perry County; 2) the November 2008 murder of Ramon Ramos on Lockbourne Road in Columbus; 3) the mid-2015 murder of Carlos Serrano-Ramos, a suspected rival gang member, near Innis Road in Columbus; 4) the November 2015 murder of Wilson Villeda near Innis Road in Columbus; 5) the December 2016 murder of Salvador Martinez-Diaz, a suspected rival gang member, on Melroy Avenue in Columbus; 6) the 2016 murder of Jose Ovillio Ayala-Alas in Virginia; 7) the 2017 murder of 15-year-old Genesis Lizbeth Cornejo-Alvarado, who was believed to have dated a rival gang member, in Texas; and 8) the 2017 murder and dismemberment of Israel Anibal Mejia-Martinez in Indianapolis.
The defendants are all charged in a racketeering conspiracy that includes the eight murders as well as attempted murder, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking, assault, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, weapons offenses and immigration-related violations.
Alberto-Arbangas participated in the murder of Wilson Villeda and was linked to the murders of Ramon Ramos, Jose Ovillio Ayala-Alas and Salvador Martinez-Diaz. He was also involved in extorting three victims, each of whom was forced to pay hundreds of dollars per month or risk harm to themselves and their families, the media release concluded.