Police Investigate Crime Spree

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

"$45,000 to $55,000 on an average day," says Captain Richard Bach of Madison Police's North District.

Police claim that dollar figure is what their suspects brought in by allegedly stealing over the counter medications while having ties to MS-13, a violent gang.

"They are just one part of a larger organized group, there are many of these small groups of these people throughout the country that commit these types of crimes," explains Bach.

An FBI tip brought officers to a Northside Madison motel on August 29th.
A four hour stake out brought in the two suspects, 21-year old Leonel Avendano and 23-year old Elvis Fuentes-Lazo as well as two boxes of evidence.

Bach says, "in their possession was about $10,000 worth of stolen over the counter medication that they had stolen from about 22 Walgreens in the Madison area the day before."

Detectives interviewed the suspects who are from Houston.
According to Captain Bach, they made the trip to Madison, and allegedly mapped out area Walgreens. Police say their plan was to then steal merchandise, and send it to a company in Louisville, Kentucky.

Now the two men are being held in Dane County jail in connection with felony retail theft. Detectives are also looking into possible connections with MS-13.

"We have not had any encounters or information that the violent MS-13 gang is in Madison. We're not even saying that these were gang members. We are saying they had an affiliation with the gang as far as this criminal activity," says Bach.

MS-13 is a gang that originated in El Salvador, but has spread into the United States. Members are trained in warfare and weapons. This gang is often connected to violent crimes, homicides, and drug deals.

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