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Final MS-13 gang member sentenced for fatal ambush of witness

Daniel Arturo Orellana

Aug. 15, 2022

An MS-13 gang member pleaded guilty to murder for his role in a fatal shooting of a witness. The result means that all seven gang members involved in the death of a 16-year-old witness have been convicted and sentenced to prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Monday.

“We have spent years fighting for justice for the victim of the treacherous ambush, and we are satisfied that everyone involved has been held responsible,” Ogg said. “His guilty plea ensures he can’t appeal his conviction and that the victim’s family can mourn their loss with the knowledge that his sentence is final.”

Daniel Arturo Orellana, who was 20 at the time Estuar Quinonez was killed, admitted in a statement to police that he’d been a lookout. He was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

The slaying took place on June 13, 2016, when several MS-13 members lured Quinonez to Buffalo Run Park in Missouri City, where the teenager was shot more than 15 times as he sat on a bench.

Quinonez was a fellow gang member who had witnessed several gang-related murders, and his killers wanted to ensure that he would never talk.

With Orellana’s conviction, seven gang members have been convicted for their role in Quinonez’s murder:

  • Gang member Douglas Alexander Herrera-Hernandez, also known as “Terror,” was sentenced to life in prison without parole for capital murder on May 1, 2021.
  • Gang member Jose Guerra Sibrian was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder on June 17, 2021.
  • Omar Torres, a gang leader who directed the ambush from behind bars in the Harris County Jail, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for capital murder on Sept. 16, 2021.
  • Gang member Darwin Josue Lopez-Ramos was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder on Nov. 11, 2021.
  • Gang member Luis Gonzalez Cruz, who drove the victim to the park where he was killed, was sentenced to life in prison for murder on Nov. 12, 2021.
  • Gang member Kelvin Hernandez was sentenced to 35 years for murder on Feb. 11, 2022.
  • Gang member Daniel Arturo Orellana was sentenced to 20 years for murder on Aug.  12, 2022.

The case was prosecuted by the Organized Crime and Gangs Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. It was jointly investigated by the Houston Police Department and Missouri City Police Department.

MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a transnational gang that began in Los Angeles and has members across the United States.