Today Judge Jeannie Cho, in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, sentenced defendant, Jordan Ryan Moreno, 23, of Washington D.C. to 50 years in prison, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney Office. Moreno pleaded guilty on June 29th, 2022 to first-degree murder for the death of Sara Gutierrez-Villatoro in 2019. He also has federal charges pending. Moreno is one of four co-defendants in this case, which also includes:
• Defendant, Rigoberto Machado A.K.A. “Crazy,” 18, of Washington, D.C. previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
• Defendant, Jonathan Rivera-Escobar, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is scheduled for sentencing on September 28, 2022.
• Defendant, Geovany Dominguez-Escobar, 27, has charges pending locally while he faces federal charges. Today the State was represented by Gang Division Chief, Assistant State’s Attorney Teresa Casafranca.
“When prosecuting gang violence, we are looking to go after the leadership and some of the defendants in this case are believed to be higher level members of the ‘18th Street’ gang. We thank Judge Cho for appropriately sentencing this young man and holding him accountable for the death of 19-year-old Sara Gutierrez-Villatoro,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
This stems from an incident on Nov. 29, 2019 as described in a proffer of facts which were read into the court record, some of which can be seen below:
On November 29, 2019 Montgomery County Police were called out to a remote wooded area near Old Hundred Rd. and Peach Tree Rd. in Dickerson, MD for a suspicious situation. The body of a female was found lying on the ground. The deceased was positively identified as Sara Jaqueline Gutierrez-Villatoro born 06/17/2000. The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined her death was caused by gunshot wounds and it was ruled a homicide.
Villatoro, a resident of Washington, D.C., had been last seen by friends and family on November 21, 2019. On that evening, Rigoberto Machado’s cell phone hit three cell phone towers in Dickerson, MD where Villatoro’s body was discovered; as did phones belonging to two of the other co-defendants.
Had this case gone to trial, the evidence would have shown that all four defendants were members of the 18th Street gang and planned to kill Villatoro because she had been associating with rival gang, MS-13. There was a call made to El Salvador to get permission to kill Villatoro. The four co-defendants drove from Washington D.C. to Dickerson, MD in a white Honda Civic with Virginia tags with Villatoro in the car and passed around a .38 caliber revolver.
Once they arrived at the wooded area, Villatoro was shot twice at close range and her body left in the woods. On the way back to Washington D.C., the defendants dropped off Jonathan Rivera-Escobar at a location in Silver Spring.
At approximately 1:15am on November 22, 2019 Geovany Dominguez-Escobar, Jordan Moreno and Rigoberto Machado were recorded together on body worn camera by officers of Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department during a traffic stop of a white Honda Civic with Virginia tags.