Last year, Kayla Cuevas, 16, Nisa Mickens, 15, and Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, were beaten and hacked to death by illegal immigrants, MS-13 gang members, who used bats and machetes as their weapons of choice.
On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced a 41 count indictment against 13 members of the street gang. 10 of those 13 are illegal immigrants. “Law enforcement was determined that these brutal murders wouldn’t turn into cold cases,” then U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers said at the time.
Many of the defendants in the murders are also facing a previous federal indictment charging them with the murders of 4 men in Central Islip and Brentwood between 2013 and 2015. Edwin Amaya-Sanchez and William Castellanos are among those charged in both sets of murders.
A 23-count indictment returned on July 25, 2016 in federal court in Central Islip, NY charged the aliens with “the May 26 and 28, 2013 murders of Derrick Mayes and Keenan Russell, the July 14, 2014 murder of Jose Lainez-Murcia, the June 30, 2015 murder of Jonathan Cardona-Hernandez, and an April 9, 2013 attempted murder, as well as related firearms, accessory after the fact, obstruction of justice, and arson offenses.”
The first indictment largely went unreported at the time and was ignored in the press at the time of the second indictment concerning the teens.
On May 26, 2013, Contreras and another MS-13 member armed themselves with a .25 caliber handgun and 20-gauge shotgun and drove around Central Islip in a stolen minivan looking for rival gang members to kill. While on Wilson Boulevard, Contreras and his co-conspirator observed Mayes, an African-American man, whom they did not know, but assumed to be a member of the Bloods street gang because he was wearing an article of red clothing. The MS-13 members approached Mayes, shot him multiple times, and killed him. On May 27-28, 2013, Contreras and several other MS-13 members, who were armed with the same .25 caliber handgun and 20-gauge shotgun, as well as a 9mm handgun, again drove around Central Islip in the stolen minivan and other vehicles, looking for rival gang members to kill, and observed several African-Americans, including Russell, outside a house party on Acorn Street. The MS-13 members approached Russell, who they again did not know, but assumed to be a member of the Bloods, opened fire with the weapons, and killed him. When the MS-13 members fled the scene in the minivan, they ran out of gas and called Lopez-Alvarado, who helped them get gas and hide the firearms. Later, the MS-13 members learned that the minivan had been linked to the murders and they agreed to destroy it. Contreras, Lopez-Alvarado and another MS-13 member wiped the minivan down to remove any fingerprints, drove it to a wooded area in Ronkonkoma, doused it with gas, and set it on fire. Shortly after participating in the Mayes and Russell murders, Contreras, who had been an MS-13 associate, was inducted as a member of the MS-13.
Amaya-Sanchez is indicted in connection with the July 14, 2014 murder of Lainez-Murcia, who was shot and killed while sitting in a car outside of his home on Twin Lawns Avenue in Brentwood. Amaya-Sanchez orchestrated the murder because he believed that Lainez-Murcia was an assassin who had killed MS-13 members in El Salvador. Amaya-Sanchez, who worked with Lainez-Murcia and knew where he lived, drove other MS-13 members, who were armed with two 9mm handguns, to Lainez-Murcia’s house and dropped them off. When Lainez-Murcia left the house and got into his car, the other MS-13 members approached and fired multiple times, killing Lainez-Murcia. The other MS-13 members ran down the block where Amaya-Sanchez picked them up and drove them away.
Further, the indictment charges Castellanos in connection with the June 30, 2015, murder of 16 year-old Cardona-Hernandez, whom the MS-13 members believed was associated with a rival gang. On the night of the murder, Castellanos and other MS-13 members drove Cardona-Hernandez to Nicoll Avenue in Central Islip, where they shot and killed him using two 9mm handguns.
Finally, Lopez-Alvarado is charged with an April 9, 2013 attempted murder of a man on Benton Place in Bay Shore. Lopez-Alvarado, who was a new member of the MS-13, and another MS-13 member went out looking to kill a rival gang member in order for Lopez-Alvarado to gain full status in the gang. When they observed a group of men who they assumed were members of the Bloods, Lopez-Alvarado and his co-conspirator retrieved the same .25 caliber handgun and 20-gauge shotgun used in the Mayes and Russell murders, drove back to Benton Place, approached the group of men and opened fire. One man was struck and was subsequently transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and survived the shooting.
See the full press release of the 23-count indictment: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/ms-13-members-indicted-four-murders-attempted-murder-arson-obstruction-justice-and