A federal grand jury has indicted three men in a kidnapping conspiracy.
The men are accused of luring the victim from New Jersey to Maryland using a fake Facebook account in order to kill him.
Neris Moreno-Martinez, 19, Jose Melendez-Rivera,19, and Reynaldo Granados-Vasquez, 21, are all indicted in the conspiracy to kidnap Jordy Mejia.
According to the indictment, on Oct. 1, 2016, Moreno created a social media account in the name of Shaila Smith. The suspects are accused of acting at the direction of Moreno, posing as Shaila Smith and using the social media account to communicate with Mejia.
Pretending to be Shaila Smith, Moreno and his co-conspirators allegedly expressed a romantic interest in the victim and persuaded the victim to travel from New Jersey to Maryland to meet in person.
Using the Shaila Smith social media account, Moreno and his co-conspirators instructed the victim when to travel to Maryland, what transportation service to use, and provided Melendez-Rivera’s address as the location where the victim should meet “Shaila Smith.”
The indictment alleges that the three men killed Mejia in a wooded area in Gaithersburg and buried his body in a shallow grave.
The defendants each face a life sentence for the conspiracy.
An investigator commented on the murder in a press release.
“This indictment alleges a horrifically planned effort to lure a victim across multiple states into Maryland with the sole purpose of kidnapping and inflicting grotesque bodily harm,” said Andre R. Watson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Baltimore. “HSI will continue to use its wide jurisdictional authorities and collaborate with state and local law enforcement to ensure that we shield Maryland-area communities from this type of violent criminal activity.”