Gang members indicted in murder of 16-year-old in south Austin

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three members of the Dove Springs Gangstas have been indicted on federal charges in connection with the 2015 murder of 16-year-old Darian Longoria. 

The U.S. Department of Justice says Richard Ortega, 22; Orlando Arroyo, 21; and Brian Aguayo, 20, were indicted Wednesday on one charge of murder in aid of racketeering and one charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in aid of racketeering. The indictment claims the gang members conspired to kidnap, shoot and kill Longoria on Dec. 7, 2015.

Longoria’s body was found along Onion Creek on Jan. 6, 2016 by a father and son who were practicing the use of a metal detector. Longoria was reported as a missing runaway Dec. 9, 2015 by his mother.

Guillerma Longoria says she’s been in touch with police through the whole process. Each day has been a painful waiting game.

“My family, we are still kind of stuck. We are still frozen in that moment,” she said. “It still hasn’t changed anything, it hasn’t erased any of the pain, the memories, everything is still so fresh.”

The news of the indictment caught her by surprise — a gang in her own neighborhood. “These people that perpetrated as his friends, I never even knew they existed,” she said.

While she may have more answers, it’s only a sliver of peace.

“It doesn’t bring Darian back, it doesn’t take the pain away, it doesn’t take the nightmares away.” Instead, in honor of Darian, she’s sending a message to people who may run into the wrong crowd. “Focus on the real love in our life, don’t go and stray to someone that’s going to lead you astray, lead you in harm’s way and possibly take your life.”

When KXAN spoke to an Austin Police Department detective last summer, he said the group the teenager was hanging out with sold drugs and killed him after holding him responsible for losing some of their product.

“There’s nothing he could have done to justify what you did to him,” said Longoria’s mother in June of 2016. 

According to federal authorities, the Dove Springs Gangstas engaged in acts of violence and drugs “in order to further, preserve and protect the power, territory and profits of their criminal enterprise.” The indictment indicates the suspects sold and distributed cocaine and marijuana.

Five other alleged gang members, Jorge Avilez-Mondragon, 35; Normal Luis-Frias, 36; Jacob Guzman, 21; Leslie Mendez-Munoz, 22; and Kathia Gomez, 20, have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine from April through October 2016. In some cases, the suspects sold within 1,000 feet of Perez Elementary School, officials say.

If the three main suspects are convicted on the murder in aid of racketeering county, they will serve a mandatory life sentence in federal prison. All of the suspects are currently in federal custody with the exception of Gomez, who is out on a personal recognizance bond.

Jury selection and trial in the case is scheduled for Dec. 4, 2017 in Austin.

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