ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – A federal jury yesterday convicted a man from Alexandria of murdering another man in retaliation for stealing an ounce of marijuana from him and trying to convince a witness to lie to cover it up.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Melvin Palma Flores, 20, was a marijuana trafficker who carried guns for protection while selling drugs. On October 25, 2019, the victim, XB, arranged for his two associates to buy marijuana in Palma Flores. In fact, XB intended his associates to steal Palma Flores. When the associates showed up at Palma Flores’ home in Alexandria, one of them stole the marijuana from Palma Flores and brought it back to XB.
Palma Flores then planned his retaliation against XB for organizing the robbery. Palma Flores, who was carrying a gun, met two of his associates and went to XB’s apartment complex in Alexandria. XB, who was unarmed, was sitting on the stairs outside his apartment. Palma Flores discharged his gun repeatedly, hitting XB in the right arm and the top of the head, killing XB.
Following his arrest in February 2020, Palama Flores wrote a letter to his girlfriend urging her to lie about the events that happened on the night of the murder and to influence others to lie about the incident to the forces of order.
Palma Flores has been convicted of gun murder in connection with drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and tampering with witnesses and is expected to be sentenced on June 29, 2022. He faces a maximum prison sentence. for life. The actual sentences for federal crimes are generally lower than the maximum sentences. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kevin Davis, Fairfax County Police Chief; and Jarod Forget, special agent in charge of the Washington division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the verdict.
US Assistant Prosecutors Michael P. Ben’Ary and Katherine E. Rumbaugh are continuing the case.
A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Court documents and related information can be found on the website of the District court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER looking for case # 1: 20-cr-142.