Body cam video shows arrest of alleged MS-13 leader, Edenilson Velasquez Larin
On June 7, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper from the Bucyrus District spotted a Toyota Highlander tailgating a vehicle on the Ohio Turnpike near State Route 53 in Sandusky Township.
He pulled the Highlander over, just before noon. The encounter was captured on body cam video obtained by 11 Investigates on Friday afternoon.
But what the trooper didn’t know was that the passengers in the car were alleged to be part of one of the most dangerous and violent gangs in America – MS-13 – including the front-seat passenger, Edenilson Velasquez Larin. He is the reputed head of the organization, accused of ordering multiple murders and trafficking cocaine and marijuana in New York.
Two weeks after the traffic stop Velasquez Larin, and 22 other alleged MS-13 members, were charged by a federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., after a 48-count superseding indictment was unsealed. The indictment includes conspiracy, murder, trafficking, and money laundering charges.
Velasquez Larin remains under maximum security at the Lucas County Jail, awaiting extradition back to New York.
Velasquez Larin faces 10 charges:
murder in-aid-of racketeering
assault in-aid-of racketeering
attempted murder in-aid-of racketeering
unlawful use, possession, brandishing and discharging of firearms
causing death through use of firearms
conspiracy to commit murder in-aid-of racketeering
money laundering conspiracy
narcotics distribution conspiracy
continuing criminal enterprise
In the video obtained Friday, the trooper approaches the vehicle, which is being driven by Gabriel Lopez, 26. Velasquez Larin, 33, is in the front passenger seat and Blanca Garcia, 31, is in the back. The trooper leans in Velasquez Larin’s window to introduce himself and to tell Garcia that he is being stopped for tailgating.
When the men fail to respond, Garcia identified herself as Velasquez Larin’s fiancée and said the men did not speak English.
Garcia explained that she rented the car and the group was headed to Long Island.
Prosecutors said, starting in late 2019, Velasquez Larin and Espinoza Sanchez ordered alleged MS-13 members, including Jose Arevalo Iraheta, Oscar Hernandez Baires, and Erick Zavala Hernandez, to scour the Long Island neighborhood of Elmont in search of rival 18th Street members to kill for encroaching on their territory.
In spring 2020, Velasquez Larin, also known as "Agresor," "Saturno," and "Paco," allegedly arranged for Fulton clique members from Maryland to travel to New York to assist in the search for rival gang members in Elmont, according to prosecutors.
In early 2019, prosecutors said MS-13 members followed a suspected 18th Street gang member onto a subway train in Flushing, dragged him onto the platform and shot and killed him.
Other murders detailed in the indictment included the death of a 17-year-old boy, who was allegedly lured to a Queens, N.Y., park on April 23, 2018 and fatally beaten, stabbed, and strangled. Prosecutors said photos of MS-13 members posing over the teen’s body were found on a member’s phone.
In November 2018, prosecutors said a Queen’s man was executed by members of the gang near his home.
And in September 2020 an MS-13 member was killed by a fellow member because of a fight, prosecutors said.
During the traffic stop, Garcia admitted to having marijuana in the car, and additional drugs were then found. She was later named in the New York indictment, accused of helping Velasquez Larin launder drug profits for guns and additional drugs.
Velasquez Larin and Lopez were detained after it was determined they had no legal right to be in the country. A statement from the U.S. Border Patrol said further investigation discovered warrants and MS-13 affiliation for the men.