A decade of deaths linked to MS-13

Killings on Long Island that law enforcement officials attribute to Mara Salvatrucha

MS-13 Victims

MS-13, a Salvadoran gang with roots in Los Angeles and Central America, has been linked to the deaths of at least 52 people on Long Island in the past decade, according to law enforcement officials.

Twenty-six of those cases have resulted in conviction for at least one suspect, usually after a suspect admitted guilt, and another 21 cases have led to charges against one or more persons. Five of the killings are unsolved as of June 2019.

Victims attributed to MS-13, and status so far
  • Someone convicted
  • Someone charged
  • No suspects named

(Cases that resulted in at least one conviction may also involve others who have only been charged or not yet named.)

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says there are other cases they believe are MS-13 related that they have not yet classified that way. And there were deaths in the years before 2009.

Here are details on the published cases from the past 10 years, gathered from law-enforcement announcements, court records and Newsday reporting. This list was updated on June 12, 2019.

1 Dexter Acheampong

Age: 24
Killed: May 26, 2009

Acheampong, of Central Islip, was targeted because he was black and mistakenly assumed to be a rival Bloods gang member. He was shot twice in the back as he ran from his attackers in the vicinity of East Maple Street in Central Islip.

Investigation outcome: Jose Gustavo Orellana-Torres, the former leader of the Coronados chapter of the gang, pleaded guilty in Acheampong’s murder and the attempted murder of an unidentified person in Roosevelt that July. In June 2013 he was sentenced to 30 years and 5 months in prison.

2 Edgar Villalobos

Age: 28
Killed: July 20, 2009

After leaving work, Villalobos went to a Bay Shore deli not far from his apartment. Three young men he met there later told detectives he claimed to be a member of the MS-13, which the trio knew was untrue. After luring him into a car, they drove to a dark street littered with gang tags and hacked him to death, police said.

Investigation outcome: In March 2011, Alexander A. Aguilar, described by prosecutors at his sentencing as an MS-13 member, was sentenced to 21 years to life for his role in the Aguilar killing and the shooting of a 13-year-old. Two accomplices received prison sentences for second-degree murder and manslaughter.

3 Zack Rosales

Age: 16
Killed: Aug. 7, 2009

Rosales, of Westbury, was walking home with a friend after leaving a movie theater when two men chased him, according to prosecutors. One yelled gang slogans while the other used a belt to beat Rosales, who authorities said was not a gang member. The first man then fatally stabbed him 11 times, prosecutors said.

Investigation outcome: Cristian Sandoval, a suspected MS-13 member, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Douglas Fuentes Gonzales (not suspected to be in a gang) was sentenced to 18 years. A jury acquitted them of second-degree murder charges but convicted them of first-degree manslaughter and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

4 Miguel Peralta

Age: 57
Killed: Sept. 12, 2009

Peralta was shot during a robbery at Los Hermanos Grocery in Brentwood where he was a store employee. Authorities said the motive in the robbery was to ensure the flow of money from the local gang to the Central American bosses.

Investigation outcome: Francisco Ponce — described as MS-13’s chief metropolitan area liaison, arranging meetings between the leaders of the gang’s 20 area chapters that are mostly on Long Island and in Queens — admitted in January 2014 that he drove the getaway car involved in the murder. He pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced in 2015 to 25 years in prison. One of the two alleged shooters in the grocery store killing, Joyser Velasquez, is awaiting trial. The second, Carlos Chicas, is being sought by the FBI.

5 Luis Castro

Age: 27
Killed: Oct. 4, 2009

Castro, of Roosevelt, was stabbed and slashed to death with machetes and knives in Huntington Station because he was thought to be a member of the rival 18th Street Gang. His body was found in a road in the Froehlich Farm preserve about two miles from the Cold Spring Harbor Long Island Rail Road station.

Investigation outcome: Six members of MS-13 were charged on May 4, 2012 with the killing of Castro and are awaiting trial.

6 Jairo Vasquez

Age: in his 30s
Killed: Oct. 22, 2009

He was found stabbed to death in front of a Garden City house. Police said witnesses reported seeing a dispute between Vasquez and two or three people who got out of car and confronted him.

Investigation outcome: Two MS-13 members, David Valle and Louis Ruiz, were initially charged with his murder but they eventually pled guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to commit assaults and were sentenced to 21 years and 23 years, respectively.

7 Christopher Hamilton

Age: 15
Killed: Nov. 20, 2009

A Brentwood Freshman Center student who went by the nickname Brisko, Hamilton was shot outside of a house party in Brentwood, mistakenly thought to be a member of a rival gang.

Investigation outcome: Several MS-13 members were charged in connection with the murder and are awaiting trial: Jose Alvarenga, at arraignment, said he ordered gang members to attack rivals. Also charged: Hector Torres, Jonathan Ayala, Edwin Molina, Francisco Ponce, and Joyser Velasquez.

8 Erick Avalos

Age: 16
Killed: Dec. 12, 2009

A member of the rival 18th Street gang from Hempstead, according to authorities, he was confronted by two men at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Hempstead and asked to step outside. He was stabbed 15 times and pronounced dead at Nassau University Medical Center.

Investigation outcome: Yobany Calderon pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 21 years in 2013 as part of a plea bargain.

9 Vanessa Argueta

Age: 19
Killed: Feb. 5, 2010

Shot to death in the head and chest by two MS-13 gang members, including her former boyfriend, in a wooded section of Central Islip. A third gang member turned the gun on her crying toddler, killing him. Prosecutors said the killing was retribution for disrespecting the gang.

Investigation outcome: The ex-boyfriend, Juan Garcia, was sentenced to life in prison in 2015, and another gang member, Renee Mendez Mejia, was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Both pleaded guilty to the killing.

10 Diego Torres

Age: 2
Killed: Feb. 5, 2010

Saw his mother, Vanessa Argueta, shot, then he was shot in the head and killed in Central Islip. She brought him with her on what she thought was a dinner date because she didn’t have a baby-sitter.

Investigation outcome: Another MS-13 member, whom authorities said was worried the boy would grow up to seek retribution, was sentenced to life in prison for shooting the boy.

11 David Sandler

Age: 21
Killed: Feb. 17, 2010

Killed by MS-13 gang members who believed he was a member of a rival street gang (Latin Kings). Shot in face in Brentwood along with Aaron Galan, who survived.

Investigation outcome: Carlos Ortega convicted and sentenced to life in prison in connection with his death.

12 Nestor Moreno

Age: 23
Killed: March 6, 2010

A security guard at El Rancho Bar and Grill in Hempstead, Moreno was shot in the head and killed after group of gang members returned to the bar following a February dispute over a $40 bar bill in which at least one gang member was sprayed with mace.

Investigation outcome: A gang member not involved in the February dispute, Vidal Espinal admitted in court that he killed Moreno to gain the respect of other gang members. He was sentenced to 33 years and nine months in prison. The gang leader who was maced, Heriberto Martinez, was also convicted in this killing, along with the murders of Vanessa Argueta, Diego Torres and Mario Alberto Canton Quijada. Moreno and Argueta were killed with the same gun.

13 Mario Alberto Canton Quijada

Age: 25
Killed: March 17, 2010

Killed after being lured to Far Rockaway. An MS-13 member, he was believed to be not following orders. Shot first and then hacked to death.

Investigation outcome: Carlos Ortega convicted and sentenced to life in prison in connection with this death as well.

14 Rigoberto Gomez

Age: 19
Killed: Aug. 31, 2010

A member of MS-13, he was believed to have cooperated with law enforcement. He was lured into a Brentwood park where he was later found shot to death.

Investigation outcome: Six MS-13 members were later charged, and in August 2014, Hector Torres, who headed a Brentwood chapter of MS-13, pleaded guilty to this and a second killing.

15 Bayron Vasquez-Nunez

Age: 19
Killed: Sept. 9, 2010

A member of MS-13 from Central Islip, he was found shot in the head multiple times with a .357 caliber revolver in Brentwood because MS-13 members believed he had cooperated with local law enforcement authorities in the past, according to a federal indictment.

Investigation outcome: Six members of MS-13 were named in a federal indictment in May 2012 with the killing of Vasquez-Nunez and three others. The charges are pending.

16 Juan Rosario

Age: 18
Killed: April 22, 2011

Police said he was approached as he walked up Grand Boulevard in Brentwood, about a mile from his home, on a Friday night. An MS-13 leader testified in court that he and other members found Rosario and decided to kill him as part of an initiation of a new member.

Investigation outcome: Hector Torres, who headed a Brentwood chapter of MS-13, pleaded guilty to involvement in this killing as well.

17 Enston Ceron

Age: 21
Killed: Dec. 18, 2011

Believed to be an MS-13 member in Brentwood, he was shot execution-style alongside his brother, Ricardo, on Dec. 18, 2011.

Investigation outcome: Arnolvin Umanzor Velasquez of Brentwood, a professed MS-13 member, admitted in court on March 11, 2016, that he fired shots from a .22-caliber pistol into the head and torso of Enston Ceron and his brother. He was sentenced in November of that year to 40 years in prison.

18 Ricardo Ceron

Age: 19
Killed: Dec. 18, 2011

Believed to be an MS-13 member in Brentwood, he was shot execution-style alongside his brother on Dec. 18, 2011.

Investigation outcome: Arnolvin Umanzor Velasquez of Brentwood, a professed MS-13 member, admitted in court on March 11, 2016, that he fired shots from a .22-caliber pistol into the head and torso of Ceron and his brother, Enston. He was sentenced in November of that year to 40 years in prison.

19 Derrick Mayes

Age: 21
Killed: May 26, 2013

One of two murders in Central Islip over 2013 Memorial Day weekend. He was shot multiple times because he was assumed to be a member of the Bloods street gang since he was wearing an article of red clothing. Prosecutors called it “an incorrect assumption.”

Investigation outcome: Federal prosecutors charged three MS-13 members with murder and identified them as Edwin Amaya-Sanchez of Brentwood, William Castellanos of Central Islip and Jhonny Contreras of Brentwood. A fourth MS-13 member, Reynaldo Lopez-Alvarado of Brentwood, faces a charge of attempted murder.

20 Keenan Russell

Age: 21
Killed: May 28, 2013

One of two murders in Central Islip over the 2013 Memorial Day weekend. MS-13 members on the hunt assumed he was a member of the Bloods, opened fire and killed him. Prosecutors called it “an incorrect assumption.”

Investigation outcome: Federal prosecutors charged three MS-13 members with murder and identified them as Edwin Amaya-Sanchez of Brentwood, William Castellanos of Central Islip and Jhonny Contreras of Brentwood. A fourth MS-13 member, Reynaldo Lopez-Alvarado of Brentwood, faces a charge of attempted murder.

21 Sidney Valverde

Age: 19
Killed: Feb. 25, 2014

Four MS-13 gang members shot the Queens resident and fellow gang member, whom they suspected of cooperating with law enforcement about gang activities. They lured him to Long Island under the pretense they needed his help on gang business and then shot him in the back of the head, dumping his body on Miller Place Beach, where a beachcomber discovered it about two weeks later.

Investigation outcome: Three gang members from a Brentwood clique were sentenced in February 2018 to between 24 and 27 years each in federal prison. A fourth man convicted in the killing, Byron Lopez, is awaiting sentencing.

22 Jose Lainez-Murcia

Age: 27
Killed: July 14, 2014

Shot while sitting in a car outside of his home on Twin Lawns Avenue in Brentwood, targeted because the gang members believed he had been “an assassin” who had killed MS-13 members in El Salvador.

Investigation outcome: Edwin Amaya-Sanchez admitted in federal court on April 4, 2018, that he killed Lainez-Murcia.

23 Milagro G. Canjura

Age: 31
Killed: Aug. 30, 2014

A pregnant Bay Shore woman, Canjura and her unborn child were pronounced dead at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore shortly after she was shot in a car in front of her home. Canjura was an acquaintance of Byron Lopez, an MS-13 member who pleaded guilty in the death of Sidney Valverde.

Investigation outcome: Authorities were investigating whether she was killed on suspicion that she was an informant. She was shot two days after Lopez was indicted. No suspects have been named in her killing.

24 Jonathan Cardona-Hernandez

Age: 16
Killed: June 30, 2015

MS-13 members who believed Cardona-Hernandez belonged to a rival gang invited him to hang out with them, prosecutors said. He was approached from behind at Nicoll Avenue in Central Islip and shot at least 10 times with two 9 mm handguns.

Investigation outcome: MS-13 member William Castellanos of Central Islip was sentenced to 27 years in prison in January 2019 for his role in the shooting.

25 Cesar Rivera Vasquez

Age: Not available
Killed: Nov. 19, 2015

MS-13 members suspected he was a member of a rival Mexican gang, Raza Loca. Lured to a secluded area in Babylon, he was attacked with knives and a baseball bat. His body was not discovered until April 2018.

Investigation outcome: Three MS-13 members indicted in August 2018: Jhonny Contreras, Reynaldo Lopez-Alvarado and Jeffrey Amador. The charges are pending.

26 Kenneth Evans

Age: 24
Killed: Nov. 28, 2015

One of two men found shot on Gibson Street, Brentwood on a Saturday night. The second victim survived.

Investigation outcome: Authorities have never publicly linked this killing to the gang, but Evans’ father has been quoted in several publications, including Newsday, saying police told him MS-13 was responsible.

27 Kerin Pineda

Age: 20
Disappeared: May 2016

Pineda was a student at Freeport High School whose family said that he had dreams of becoming a police officer and that he had left his Central American homeland because of MS-13 violence there. His body was found on Oct. 27, 2017, in thick woods near the Merrick-Freeport border.

Investigation outcome: Police have attributed the killing to MS-13 but have made no arrests.

28 Jose Peña-Hernández

Age: 18
Killed: June 2016

A member of MS-13, he was suspected of violating gang rules “in several ways, including talking to law enforcement.” His skeletal remains were unearthed on Oct. 17, 2016, in a wooded area on the grounds of the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.

Investigation outcome: One suspect was sentenced to 25 years in prison in December 2018 after admitting to a role in the killing. More than a half-dozen members of MS-13 were indicted in March 2017 in his killing, as well as those of Brentwood teens Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens. Two of those charged publicly were linked to the Peña-Hernández case. Those charges are pending.

29 Estiven V. Abrego Gomez

Age: 18
Killed: Aug. 20, 2016

Authorities said the killing was ordered after the victim was reportedly seen on social media flashing gang signs associated with the rival 18th Street gang. The teen’s body was found at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Greenlawn “with significant lacerations on his body,” and his hands nearly severed.

Investigation outcome: Elmer Gilberto Santos Contreras, an admitted MS-13 member, and Anthony Gutierrez Meza were charged with the killing in March 2019. Authorities said Contreras, who pleaded not guilty, allegedly ordered the murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

30 Bryan Steven Cho Lemus

Age: 18
Missing: Aug. 24, 2016

A Uniondale teen who authorities say was associated with MS-13, is believed to have been lured into the Massapequa Preserve and attacked with machetes by gang members. His body was recovered on May 24, 2019.

Investigation outcome: Two Hempstead men have been charged with second-degree murder. At least one was already in custody at the Nassau County jail on an attempted murder charge for a 2016 machete slashing attack in Hempstead Lake Park.

31 Nisa Mickens

Age: 15
Killed: Sept. 13, 2016

Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, both juniors at the Brentwood High School’s Ross Center, were found on Sept. 13 and 14. Their bodies were left about a mile and a half from each other, near an elementary school and wooded cul-de-sacs typical of the residential area. Suffolk police described the girls’ fatal injuries as resulting from a “brutal attack” of blunt-force trauma.

Investigation outcome: Several members of MS-13 were indicted in March 2017. They have pleaded not guilty and the charges are pending.

32 Kayla Cuevas

Age: 16
Killed: Sept. 13, 2016

Mickens and Cuevas, both juniors at the Brentwood High School’s Ross Center, were found on Sept. 13 and 14. Their bodies were left about a mile and a half from each other, near an elementary school and wooded cul-de-sacs. Suffolk police described the girls’ fatal injuries as resulting from a “brutal attack” of blunt-force trauma.

Investigation outcome: Several members of MS-13 were indicted in March 2017. They have pleaded not guilty and the charges are pending.

33 Josué David Amaya Leonor

Age: 19
Killed: Sept. 4, 2016

Police say he was targeted by MS-13 after posting pictures on social media of himself and new friends whom the gang considered rivals. He was attacked by members of the gang using a machete and then buried in the woods at the Roosevelt Preserve in Roosevelt. Remains described as “bone fragments” were found on May 30, 2018, after an investigation in connection with the killing of Angel Soler. Leonor, a Freeport High School student, had been friends with schoolmates Soler and Kerin Pineda, according to their families. Soler and Pineda are also believed by police to be victims of MS-13.

Investigation outcome: Jose Daniel Lopez of Roosevelt, who said he left MS-13 after the killing, was indicted in August 2018 and pleaded not guilty. The charges are pending.

34 Oscar Acosta

Age: 19
Killed: April 29, 2016

A student at Brentwood High School’s Ross Center, he was killed because he was suspected of being a member of the rival 18th Street Gang. His remains were found on Sept. 16, 2016, in a wooded area in Brentwood. Cause of death reported as assault.

Investigation outcome: Several MS-13 members indicted in the killing in June 2018, with superseding indictment in August 2018. Charges are pending.

35 Miguel García Morán

Age: 15
Missing: Feb. 20, 2016

After seven months his remains were found Sept. 21, 2016, in a wooded area west of Emjay Boulevard in Brentwood, north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Cause of death reported as assault.

Investigation outcome: The first of 11 high schoolers to go missing in Suffolk County in 2016, he was initially listed by police as a runaway. He was found in the same area as other MS-13 victims. No arrests have been made.

36 Javier Castillo

Age: 16
Killed: Oct. 10, 2016

The Central Islip resident was suspected by MS-13 of being a rival 18th Street gang member, authorities said. He was lured to Cow Meadow Park in Freeport, attacked with machetes and buried in a shallow grave. The FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, acting on a tip related to MS-13, found human remains while searching Cow Meadow Park and Preserve on Oct. 23, 2017.

Investigation outcome: Several MS-13 members were indicted in the killing in June 2018. The charges are pending.

37 Dewann A.S. Stacks

Age: 34
Killed: Oct. 13, 2016

He was attacked with a baseball bat and machetes as he walked along American Boulevard south of Second Avenue, in Brentwood, late in the evening and left to die. His attackers suspected him of being a rival gang member, authorities said.

Investigation outcome: Several MS-13 members were indicted in the killing in June 2018. The charges are pending.

38 Alexon Moya

Age: 16
Killed: December 2016

Shot in the head on Dec. 13 while standing on Fenimore Avenue in Uniondale. He died three days later. He was not the intended target in an attack on a perceived gang enemy who was standing nearby.

Investigation outcome: An MS-13 member, Edar Ventura of Hempstead, pleaded guilty in March 2019 to this and the killing of Carlos Rivas-Majano as part of plea bargain; he was sentenced to prison for 32 years to life. A second gang member, Jeustin David Maldonado, previously pleaded guilty in this killing and is awaiting sentencing.

39 Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay

Age: 19
Killed: Jan. 18, 2017

A Valley Stream teen, police said he was killed by alleged MS-13 gang members because he was suspected of being a rival gang member, though police said he was not. He was stabbed and shot multiple times. His body was found on March 23, 2017, at the Peter J. Schmitt Massapequa Preserve in Massapequa Park.

Investigation outcome: In the summer of 2017, police announced the arrest of Kevin Granados-Coreas of Rosedale and Carlos Portillo of Hempstead. Authorities said the pair committed the murder “to move up in stature in MS-13.” The changes are pending.

40 Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla

Age: 29
Killed: Jan. 30, 2017

Shot several times and killed in a Central Islip deli, he was believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang. A female deli worker was also shot but survived.

Investigation outcome: Mario Aguilar-Lopez of Brentwood, an admitted member of MS-13, pleaded guilty in court to the shooting and said he had been trying to further his position with the gang. He theoretically faces up to life in prison, but would more likely get up to 33 years under federal sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is scheduled for August 2019. A second defendant, Jose Suarez of Central Islip, was convicted of murder by a federal jury on May 23, 2019.

41 Nelson Rodriguez

Age: 37
Killed: March 20, 2017

From Hempstead, he was shot in the back and head as he walked along Front Street in the early evening.

Investigation outcome: Hector Lazo and Pedro Rivera, both of Hempstead, were taken into custody in July 2017 and charged with second-degree murder. The charges are pending.

42 Jorge Tigre

Age: 18
Killed: April 11, 2017

From Bellport, one of four young men whose bodies were found in a small park in Central Islip on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. An MS-13 member who pleaded guilty to the killing said the victims were lured by two women who said they were going to “smoke weed.” When the victims got to the park, they were surrounded by MS-13 members who attacked them with machetes, knives and clubs.

Investigation outcome: Josue Portillo, the first of about a dozen members of the gang and associates accused in the murder of the four to plead guilty and to be sentenced in the case was sent to prison for 55 years on June 12, 2019. Freiry Martinez, 15 years old at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in September 2018 to the four murders in court, where he had agreed to be handled as an adult. He is awaiting sentencing. Martinez said MS-13 members were trying to kill “members of a rival gang who had disrespected the MS-13.” Family of the victims have denied that they were members of a gang.

43 Justin Llivicura

Age: 16
Killed: April 11, 2017

From East Patchogue, one of four young men whose bodies were found in a small park in Central Islip on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. An MS-13 member who pleaded guilty to the killing said the victims were lured by two women who said they were going to “smoke weed.” When the victims got to the park, they were surrounded by MS-13 members who attacked them with machetes, knives and clubs.

Investigation outcome: Josue Portillo, the first of about a dozen members of the gang and associates accused in the murder of the four to plead guilty and to be sentenced in the case was sent to prison for 55 years on June 12, 2019. Freiry Martinez, 15 years old at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in September 2018 to the four murders in court, where he had agreed to be handled as an adult. He is awaiting sentencing. Martinez said MS-13 members were trying to kill “members of a rival gang who had disrespected the MS-13.” Family of the victims have denied that they were members of a gang.

44 Jefferson Villalobos

Age: 18
Killed: April 11, 2017

From Pompano Beach, Fla., one of four young men whose bodies were found in a Central Islip park on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. An MS-13 member who pleaded guilty to the killing said the victims were lured by two women who said they were going to “smoke weed.” When the victims got to the park, they were surrounded by MS-13 members who attacked them with machetes, knives and clubs.

Investigation outcome: Josue Portillo, the first of about a dozen members of the gang and associates accused in the murder of the four to plead guilty and to be sentenced in the case was sent to prison for 55 years on June 12, 2019. Freiry Martinez, 15 years old at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in September 2018 to the four murders in court, where he had agreed to be handled as an adult. He is awaiting sentencing. Martinez said MS-13 members were trying to kill “members of a rival gang who had disrespected the MS-13.” Family of the victims have denied that they were members of a gang.

45 Michael Lopez Banegas

Age: 20
Killed: April 11, 2017

From Brentwood, one of four young men whose bodies were found in a small park in Central Islip on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. An MS-13 member who pleaded guilty to the killing said the victims were lured by two women who said they were going to “smoke weed.” When the victims got to the park, they were surrounded by MS-13 members who attacked them with machetes, knives and clubs.

Investigation outcome: Josue Portillo, the first of about a dozen members of the gang and associates accused in the murder of the four to plead guilty and to be sentenced in the case was sent to prison for 55 years on June 12, 2019. Freiry Martinez, 15 years old at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in September 2018 to the four murders in court, where he had agreed to be handled as an adult. He is awaiting sentencing. Martinez said MS-13 members were trying to kill “members of a rival gang who had disrespected the MS-13.” Family of the victims have denied that they were members of a gang.

46 Fernando Gonzalez-Chavez

Age: 39
Killed: May 30, 2017

The Bayside man was shot in the chest and killed outside a bodega allegedly by two MS-13 gang members who were later arrested in a raid in Hempstead. The killing was captured on surveillance video.

Investigation outcome: Roberto Abrego Reyes, known as “Splinter,” and Jose Alvarenga Ramirez, known as “Smoker,” were each charged with murder and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

47 Julio Vasquez

Age: 16
Killed: May 2017

Described by police as a member of MS-13, Vasquez’s badly-decomposed body was found at Alley Pond Park in Oakland Gardens on May 21, 2017 with about 30 stab wounds. Investigators said at the time that he could have been killed somewhere else and then dumped in the park.

Investigation outcome: No arrests have been announced in connection with this killing.

48 Miguel Ayala-Hernandez

Age: 18
Killed: Sept. 15, 2017

Standing in a crowd in Uniondale when two men rode up on bicycles. He was shot nine times as he hung out with friends on a Uniondale street corner just before midnight.

Investigation outcome: Nerlin Omar Chacon-Ruano of Hempstead was arrested on Sept. 18, 2017, and charged with second-degree murder in the slaying, according to police, who said the shooting was in retaliation for an “altercation” between Ayala-Hernandez and Chacon-Ruano the day before. He pled not guilty and the case is pending.

49 Angel Soler

Age: 16
Killed: July 2017

From Roosevelt. A student at Freeport High School, his remains were found Oct. 19, 2017, on the Baldwin-Roosevelt border, believed killed by members of the MS-13 gang. He had been friendly with Freeport High School classmates Kerin Pineda, 20, who disappeared in May 2016, and with Josué David Amaya Leonor, who disappeared in September 2016.

Investigation outcome: Several MS-13 members were indicted in the killing in 2017. By September 2018 authorities said all five suspects in the murder were in custody. The charges are pending.

50 Carlos Rivas-Majano

Age: 22
Killed: Aug. 13, 2017

From Uniondale. Killed in an MS-13 machete attack in East Meadow, allegedly because he was an informant who had cooperated with authorities. Rivas-Majano’s remains were found Aug. 29, 2018, in a shallow grave in the woods. He was attacked by at least five MS-13 gang members, according to authorities.

Investigation outcome: An MS-13 member, Edar Ventura of Hempstead, pleaded guilty in March 2019 to this and the killing of Alexon Moya as part of plea bargain and was sentenced to prison for 32 years to life. Charges are pending against other MS-13 co-defendants.

51 Emilio Sanchez Maldonado

Age: 17
Killed: July 2, 2018

Shot five times outside his East Patchogue home. Authorities said the Bellport High School student was an innocent victim killed as “a result of folks he was hanging out with and his desire to live a law-abiding life.”

Investigation outcome: A schoolmate of Maldonado’s and alleged MS-13 gang member was charged with second degree murder and arraigned on May 21, 2019.

52 Harold B. Sermeno

Age: 17
Killed: Dec. 18, 2018

The Lawrence teen, believed by investigators to be a Latin Kings gang member, was shot and then cut with a machete behind the Five Towns Community Center, where they believed he had been lured with the promise of sex.

Investigation outcome: A Nassau grand jury in April 2019 indicted six alleged MS-13 members in connection with this slaying and that of a Queens man in Far Rockaway. The charges are pending and several of the suspects have pleaded not guilty.

This list was compiled by Víctor Manuel Ramos, Caroline Curtin, Tim Healy and Michael O’Keeffe. Design: Matthew Cassella; Graphics: Will Welch.

You can read more about the current status of law enforcements against MS-13.

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