ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was sentenced today to 45 years in prison for murdering another man in retaliation for stealing an ounce of marijuana from him and trying to convince a witness to lie so he would conceals.

According to court documents, 20-year-old Melvin Palma Flores was a marijuana dealer who carried firearms for protection while dealing drugs. Evidence presented at trial from Palma Flores’ social media accounts showed that Palma Flores posted images depicting the marijuana he was selling, his cash proceeds and the multiple firearms and ammunition he was using to protect his drugs and his money. On October 25, 2019, the victim, XB, arranged for his two associates to purchase marijuana in Palma Flores. In reality, XB wanted his associates to rob Palma Flores. When the associates showed up at Palma Flores’ home in Alexandria, one of them stole Palma Flores’ marijuana and took 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 firearm multiple times, hitting XB in the right arm and top of the head, causing XB’s death.

After his arrest in February 2020, Palma Flores wrote a letter to his girlfriend asking her to lie about the events of the night of the murder and to influence others to lie about the incident to law enforcement, especially to try to frame another person for the murder.

In December 2021, Palma Flores was found guilty by a federal jury of first degree murder by firearm in connection with drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and witness tampering.

Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis; and Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made the announcement following the conviction by U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Ben’Ary and Katherine E. Rumbaugh prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia website or on PACER by searching for Case #1: 20-cr-142.

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