Gomez’ co-defendant, Jimmy Lee Massey (aka “Big Country”), 33, was already in custody. Both are allegedly members of a drug/sex trafficking ring operating in Oklahoma. According to an affidavit, Massey has admitted to kidnapping another woman and forcing her to watch as Saunders was tortured to death on October 9, 2011. Massey also told investigators how the young woman’s body was then dismembered. On October 13, Saunders’ remains were discovered inside a duffel bag behind the Homeland grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell Avenue. She had been beheaded and could only be indentified through dental records. Massey also told and investigators that Saunders was killed simply to send a message of to the kidnapped woman as well as other women to comply with those running the prostitution ring.
Chief Cole expects more arrests in the case. Many of those now under investigation are said to be Mexican nationals and the drug/sex trafficking ring is reportedly directly connected to one of the cartels. Though the mainstream press has failed to report on the growing cartel and Latin American gang violence in this country, beheadings and torture killings are nothing new. In 2005, two MS-13 members were convicted in an Alexandria, Va. United States District Court for killing a 17-year-old pregnant girl. A rope was placed around the neck of Brenda Paz, she was then stabbed repeatedly. Her body was then left along the muddy banks of Virginia’s Shenandoah River. The murder was retribution for the girl’s cooperation with a federal investigation into the gang’s activities.
MS-13 (or Mara Salvatrucha) was formed by Salvadoran, mostly illegal immigrants in the 1980’s, during El Salvador’s civil war. While the gang was originally made up exclusively of Salvadorans, they now accept all Central Americans as well as Mexicans. MS stands for Mara (slang for mob), Salva (El Salvador), Trucha (slang for on-guard). MS-13 began in Los Angeles and as members moved deeper into the country, more loosely structured gangs or cliques were formed. However, these cliques continued to communicate with one another, and the network was formed. Over the years, MS-13 has become better structured, and the FBI believes that the gang’s L.A. members have a higher status among the group. The gang typically targets high school and even middle school students for recruitment.
In October 2007, three Mexican nationals were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mario Lopez, 27, also a Mexican national whose decapitated body was found a month earlier in the Atchafalaya River. On April 8, 2008, while testifying before the Florida House of Representatives in support of tougher immigration enforcement measures, Bill Stewart, Deputy Chief of Staff for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said: “Florida is the number one state in the nation for human trafficking. And I will just leave you with a recent story that occurred in the panhandle.” “There were several girls that were trafficked into the panhandle from Mexico. These girls were raped repeatedly over a week’s period of time, and one of them actually resisted while she was being raped.” “So the smugglers grabbed all of these girls, chained them in chairs, and put them in a room. They brought in the girl who refused to be raped, and they beheaded her, in front of all of the other girls that were in that room. And they left them there, with her body, and those little girls, for several hours,” Stewart concluded.