MS-13 Gang Members Busted Amid Crackdown, Feds Say

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 20, 2017

Federal prosecutors have announced the indictments of more than a dozen MS-13 gang members in two high profile killings on Long Island this year.

At least 15 people have been arrested in connection to murders on Long Island attributed to MS-13, or La Mara Salvatrucha, authorities said.

The violence has led to congressional hearings, tweets from the White House and a visit to Long Island from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Prosecutors unsealed a superseding indictment against 17 gang members for the brutal murders of four teenagers in April, and the assassination of a rival gang member in a deli last January.

According to a recent court filing, the four young men were lured to a park by two female associates of the MS-13 street gang, which was hunting for rivals and perceived enemies. "We need help in addressing the violence, by the community supporting churches, community programs and activists who can provide a positive alternative to the deadly future MS-13 offers". It is believed to have been founded as a neighborhood street gang in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by immigrants fleeing a civil war in El Salvador.

MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, is a major worldwide criminal enterprise, with tens of thousands of members in several Central American countries and many US states.

Commissioner Sini says those arrested are accused in the January 30 shooting death of 29-year old Esteban Alvardo Bonilla at a bodega in Central Islip, as well as in the April murders of four young men in a Central Islip park. Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said the continued crackdown can bring some comfort to the victim's families.

"As I said when I visited Long Island after these murders took place in April, MS-13's motto may be "kill, rape and control", but the Department of Justice's motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals", Sessions said in a press release issued Wednesday.

MS-13 gang members surrounded and attacked the victims using machetes, knives and wooden clubs.

The victims in that case were 16-year-old Justin Llivicura of East Patchogue, 20-year-old Michael Lopez Banegas and Jorge Tigre of Bellport, Jefferson Villalobos of Pompano Beach, Fla., both 18, Suffolk County police have said. Court papers revealed that a fifth young man who was with the victims managed to run for his life and escape. More than a dozen MS-13 gang members were charged Wednesday in these and other violent killings in the area.

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