From Stafford Sheriff’s Office
Stafford, VA. Seven members of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office have received a prestigious award from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for their leadership and collaboration in a joint homicide investigation connected to the criminal street gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
The awards were presented on November 9, 2017 during a ceremony at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C. Award recipients from the Sheriff’s Office include Detective Barry Surles, Detective Todd Nosal, Detective Benjamin Woodson, Detective Doug Aloisio, Detective Chadwick Oxley, Crime Analyst Krystle Galyen and Patrol Deputy Kassandra Lawrence.
The ICE Director’s Interagency Award recognizes exceptional teamwork and cooperation in accomplishing significant initiatives that further ICE’s mission. Detective Nosal said Stafford County was selected for the award out of numerous case submissions nationwide.
“We are honored to receive an award recognizing the collaborative efforts of the dedicated men and women of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office,” Detective Nosal said. “This case shows the importance of building a cooperative relationship with our local, state and federal partners to keep our communities safe. Without our partners, the success of this investigation would not have been possible.”
Following a homicide in Stafford on January 22, 2017, the Sheriff’s Office launched a multi-day investigation in partnership with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation included community outreach, witness interviews and other law enforcement activities.
Detective Surles, one of the lead investigators on the case, said ERO laid the groundwork for the investigation and U.S. Marshals provided electronic surveillance assistance in developing phone records and GPS mapping, which helped the Sheriff’s Office develop suspects and witnesses.
On February 3, 2017, two homicide suspects with ties to MS-13 were apprehended. The Sheriff’s Office also identified and administratively arrested 11 undocumented immigrants with ties to the homicide suspects, most of whom were members, associates or affiliates of MS-13.
On November 28, 2017, Juan Pablo Rubio, 21, and Ronald Silvestre-Torres, 24, entered Alford pleas to second-degree murder, use of a firearm, robbery, conspiracy and gang participation. Sentencing is scheduled for March 15, 2018.
“This is a perfect example of how law enforcement partnerships can and should work every day,” Detective Surles said. “Through collaboration, diligent investigative work and commitment to service we were able to bring these criminals to justice.”