Commonwealth v. Willian Alberto Oliva Rodriguez; 10 Years to Serve for Role in MS-13 Murder Plot
Virginia Beach, Va. – Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Willian Alberto Oliva Rodriguez, age 28, pled guilty and was sentenced on charges of Second Degree Murder and Gang Participation – Juvenile Member. Circuit Court Judge Kevin M. Duffan sentenced Rodriguez to twenty (20) years in prison with ten (10) years suspended on the charge of Second Degree Murder and ten (10) years in prison with five (5) suspended on the charge of Gang Participation – Juvenile Member, to run concurrently, leaving ten (10) years to serve.
The Commonwealth's evidence proved that on July 6, 2018, two men were kayaking on Lake Smith around 10 a.m. when they observed an unresponsive male slumped over in a wooded area of the shoreline. They called police, who arrived on the scene along with the medical examiner, and determined the male was deceased with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. There was no weapon found at the scene and the victim did not have identification. He was later identified as Jairo Guardado.
An extensive investigation including video surveillance, cell phone data, and witness interviews ultimately indicated that the murder was related to MS-13 gang activity. MS-13 is a transnational criminal street gang with international membership. Willian Rodriguez, Melvin Edgardo Molina-Ramos, and three (3) fellow MS-13 gang members were involved in the murder of Guardado because they believed he was involved with a rival gang; however, investigators did not find evidence to support that. Molina-Ramos, the most senior member of MS-13, ordered Guardado's murder. Molina-Ramos ordered Rodriguez to bring Guardado to the lake under the guise of fishing, drinking beer, and smoking marijuana. Guardado was shot once in the back of the head by one of Rodriguez's co-defendants. Rodriguez then took a picture of Guardado as evidence of the killing. Rodriguez and his co-defendants were threatened with death by Molina-Ramos if they failed or if they spoke of the homicide.
Molina-Ramos was found guilty by a jury on charges of Solicitation to Commit Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Participate in Criminal Act for Benefit of Gang, Accessory After the Fact to Homicide and is serving fifty (50) years in prison.
The Virginia Beach Police Department Homicide Unit, Norfolk Police Department Detective Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation Tidewater Violent Crimes Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation Norfolk Field Office, and Fairfax County Police Department Gang Investigations Unit assisted with the investigation and prosecution of this case.
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tabitha B. Anderson prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.