A member of the gang MS-13 was sentenced today to 10 years behind bars for a stabbing a year ago in Leesburg.
Josue Jeremias Cruz Gonzalez, 20, appeared before the Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on one count of malicious wounding and one count of gang participation. Judge Douglas L. Fleming Jr. imposed ten years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In November 2015, officers with the Leesburg Police Department and the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force responded to northeast Leesburg for a report of a stabbing. Witnesses told law enforcement that they had seen a young man stumble out of a nearby wooded area before falling to the ground in the common area of the apartment complex. The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Once medically stable, the victim told detectives that he had been standing in the parking lot of his apartment complex when two men he knew to be MS-13 gang members approached him and began attacking him. The two gang members later identified as Cruz Gonzalez and Jose Roel Guevara Machado, drug the victim into the woods where they repeatedly struck him in the head and attempted to stab him in the chest with a machete-style bladed weapon.
The victim suffered multiple stab wounds to his head, neck and hands. The victim also lost a finger in the attack and suffered permanent scarring to his face, ear, head, neck and hands.
A third co-defendant, Jose Israel Alvarenga had ordered Cruz Gonzalez and Guevara Machado to kill the victim because he refused to join the MS-13 gang, according to prosecutors.
Cruz Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the charges on July 22. He received an additional ten years of suspended time. Upon his release, he will be placed on five years of supervised probation.
Cruz Gonzalez, a native of El Salvador, is also being held pursuant to a Federal Immigration Detainer, which directs his deportation from the United States upon his release.
Guevara Machado, 21, pleaded guilty to malicious wounding and gang participation on July 25. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Jan. 5 and faces up to 30 years in prison.
Alvarenga, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of gang participation, one count of malicious wounding and one count of felony obstruction of justice on Aug. 4. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Nov. 10 and faces up to 40 years in prison.