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MS-13 gang leader convicted of turning D.C. area into “hunting ground” receives life sentence

In the summer of 2019, a series of killings in northern Virginia by the MS-13 gang gained attention for targeting random victims with no connection to any gang. Gang leader Melvin Canales Saldana, also known as “Demente,” was sentenced to life in prison for his role in these killings. Prosecutors stated that Canales ordered the aggressive targeting of rival gang members, leading to the random killings. Other gang members were also convicted for their involvement in various murders, highlighting the violent and organized nature of MS-13 as a transnational gang involved in illegal activities across multiple countries.


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