13 MS-13 Gang Members Charged In Brentwood Teens’ Murders & Other Slayings

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Thirteen MS-13 gang members were charged Thursday for committing more than a half dozen murders, including the 2016 slayings of three Brentwood teenagers, authorities said.The brutal deaths of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas last September sent shockwaves across the community and prompted pledges from law enforcement that the killers would be brought to justice.Five months later, they were, authorities said.The 13 suspected gang members include 10 who are undocumented, a green card holder, and a pair of U.S. citizens, authorities said.Charged in their alleged roles in the murders of Mickens and Cuevas were Selvin Chavez, Enrique Portillo, both 19 and from Brentwood, and two juveniles who were not identified.The foursome were riding in a car on Sept. 13 and looking for rival gang members when they came upon the two girls, authorities said. They dialed the leaders of their MS-13 clique, brothers Alexi and Jairo Saenz, who allegedly endorsed the slayings. Cuevas ran for her life but was bludgeoned and stabbed after her attackers caught up to her inside a fenced-in backyard. The Saenz brothers were also charged.“Kayla Cuevas was marked for death because she had feuded at school and over social media with various members of MS-13,” Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a press conference at federal court in Central Islip on Thursday. “And Nisa Mickens was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.”Mickens’ lifeless body was “almost unrecognizable” when it was discovered, Capers said.The gang’s dispute was with Cuevas, who was involved in a series of feuds with MS-13 members months prior as well as another altercation at Brentwood High School that escalated the vendetta, authorities said.What rational adults may consider innocuous bickering, MS-13 gang members interpreted as death sentences, with their enforcers serving as executioners, authorities said.“Gangs viciously defend their territories and ideals, allowing themselves to engage in acts of violence against rivals, outsiders and non-members,” said William F. Sweeney, FBI assistant director-in-charge. “They retaliate against anyone who dares to close in on their territory—a territory that is often imagined and self-defined.”The spate of murders last year also claimed 18-year-old Jose Pena-Hernandez, an MS-13 gang member who authorities said was killed because he was suspected of being an informant and violating supposed gang rules.Pena, who also attended Brentwood High School, was lured into a car and driven to the abandoned Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in June, one of the gang’s hangouts. Gang members from the group’s Freeport affiliate took turns stabbing and slashing Pena with a machete. His battered body was left in a wooded area to decompose. Pena’s skeletal remains were found in October. He was reported missing on June 13; by then he was already dead.Capers declined to say whether Pena was cooperating with law enforcement, but noted that local gang members clearly believed he was. Among those charged in Pena’s death were 18-year-old German Cruz of Brentwood and 24-year-old Reynaldo Lopez-Alvarado.Capers said the investigation is ongoing.Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, in perhaps the most high-profile case since he was named to the position, said justice, as promised, had been served.“The day Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas were heinously murdered, the Suffolk County Police Department made a commitment to their families and to the residents of Brentwood that justice would be served,” Sini said. “Today, in collaboration with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, we have deliver on that promise.”The murder charges were part of a 41-count superseding indictment unsealed Thursday. The other charges include racketeering, attempted murders, assaults, obstruction of justice and more.The sweeping indictment covers seven murders from 2013 through 2016, including the slayings of Pena, Cuevas and Mickens, all Brentwood High School students. Thursday’s indictment replaces one filed last year that covered four murders, all of which are included in the new document. Three suspects covered under the original indictment have previously appeared in court and were ordered detained, pending trial.Murder charges included in the new charging document date back to the 2013 slayings of Derrick Mayes and Keenan Russell, and the murders of Jose Lainez-Murcia and Jonathan Cardona-Hernandez, in 2014 and 2015, respectively.Five suspects were arrested Thursday morning and were scheduled to be arraigned in the afternoon. Two have yet to be detained, but their identities were not released.The investigation was carried out by the Long Island Gang Task Force, which encompasses federal authorities and local and state agencies, including Nassau and Suffolk police.Capers declined on Thursday to elaborate on investigative tools that led police to track down those responsible for the slayings in five months time. But a detention letter submitted to the court noted that the government’s evidence includes testimony of eyewitnesses and surviving witnesses and testimony from former MS-13 members who have pleaded guilty to various crimes. Evidence gleaned from those witnesses has “provided a wealth of information regarding the defendants’ participation in the charged offenses and other violent crimes on behalf of MS-13,” states the detention letter in which prosecutors also argue that the suspects be denied bail.The unit has been pursuing MS-13 associates for years and has brought charges against dozens of alleged gang members, including 35 murder indictments since 2010. MS-13 is regarded as the most dangerous street gang on LI, with roots in El Salvador and Honduras.Capers said he hopes the arrests convince Long Islanders that law enforcement is up to the task of combating gang violence.“It’s our sincere hope that these arrests will send a message to all the communities on Long Island, many of which are populated by hard working and law-abiding people from all walks of life, that we in law enforcement stand by you and will continue to protect and serve you and do the best that we can,” he said.Related: 6th Brentwood Gang Violence Victim Found Dead in 5 Weekslast_img read more

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MLAX : Balanced scoring carries SU in exhibition game wins

first_imgHakeem Lecky cut through the offensive zone, running past the goal before quickly coming to a halt. He fought off two Hofstra defenders and took a hard shot into the top right corner of the net from about seven yards out to give Syracuse its fourth goal of the day.Though Lecky’s arrival to the Orange’s offense is coming one year later than expected, the redshirt freshman showed how much of an asset his speed and athleticism will be to SU’s midfield.‘I was very excited, very excited,’ Lecky said. ‘It was the only real lacrosse I’ve played so far since the summer. … It was just great to play other competition. We’ve been playing each other, and it was great to get back out there and get my feet wet.’The Orange got a balanced offensive effort in its first two scrimmages of the season, beating Hofstra 7-5 in the first game before taking down neighbor Le Moyne 11-5 in the second in the Carrier Dome on Sunday. Fourteen different players scored for Syracuse, with junior midfielder Christian Pagli being the only scorer to notch two goals in one game. Of the 18 total goals on the day for Syracuse, 12 came from the midfield, arguably the team’s biggest enigma heading into the season. After the games, SU head coach John Desko said the team is actually ahead of where it was last season in terms of knowing who the midfielders will be and what lines they will play on.Syracuse’s offensive starters played most of the Orange’s first game against the Pride, continuing the strong communication and chemistry they’ve been building through three weeks of practice. Still, attack Derek Maltz, who likely will be joining Tim Desko and Tommy Palasek as starters, said the offense’s chemistry is a work in progress.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Continuity on offense is definitely going to come over time,’ Maltz said. ‘…We got a lot to work on this week in practice. On the offensive side, meshing together is going to come over time.’In a season in which four offensive positions on the field are being filled by new starters, Syracuse got solid contributions from two scorers who never saw playing time last year in Lecky and fellow midfielder Henry Schoonmaker. Both are expected to become major factors in SU’s offense, with Lecky playing on the first midfield line and Schoonamker on the second.On the first day of spring practices, Desko said he wanted to essentially build the second midfield line around Lecky last season, and perhaps even move him up to the first line every so often to further his experience. A wrist injury before the start of the season, though, put those plans to rest and delayed the start to his Syracuse career.When Lecky first took the field against Hofstra, Desko said he could tell he was a bit hyped up and ‘pulled the trigger’ a couple of times, taking some ill-advised shots from the outside. But once he started to settle in, Lecky started to show what the Orange has been anticipating.‘The more he plays, the more comfortable he’s going to get in the offense in game situations and the better decisions he’ll make,’ Desko said. ‘I thought he showed at times that he’s hard to cover.’Schoonmaker also redshirted last season, but like Lecky, he is taking on a larger role for 2012. The midfielder impressed his coaches in the alumni scrimmage back in October, scoring two goals in the exhibition.With so many midfielders seeing playing time Sunday, including starters and newcomers who will be relegated to reserve roles, Schoonmaker said he was glad he made the most of his opportunity.‘We have a lot of depth at middie,’ Schoonmaker said. ‘There were a lot of guys getting a lot of reps. I think they were trying out a lot of guys. I think we were, but it took a little time because we’ve been going against each other for so long.’In the first exhibitions of the season, the Orange put together an offensive performance that it would gladly take at any point during the regular season, especially from its budding midfielders.And for Lecky, it was only the beginning of a season he hopes will pan out as well as he and his coaches expect.‘It was a good feeling to get one put in the back of the net,’ Lecky said. ‘But hopefully, there’ll be a lot more to come.’[email protected] Published on February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Dragons, Elvis and singing mayor surprise OCA general assembly

first_imgJakarta, Aug 19 (AFP) Olympic Council for Asia (OCA) delegates could be forgiven for thinking they had wandered into a Jakarta karaoke joint after being subjected to a surprise serenade on Sunday.The Japanese cities of Nagoya and Aichi will stage the 20th Asian Games in 2026.And during the joint hosts’ report to the OCA general assembly taking place on the sidelines of the 18th Asian Games, Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura stunned delegates first with a bizarre request and then a passable Elvis Presley impersonation.The representatives of 45 Asian countries probably couldn’t quite believe their ears when first Kawamura implored OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah to help him acquire two of Indonesia’s famous Komodo dragons for his city’s zoo.Kawamura then tried to drive home his plea by crooning his own version of Elvis’s hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.Only he changed the lyrics in front of the smiling, but slightly embarrassed, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmed to “I can’t help falling in love with Asian people and the Komodo dragon.” It was such a hard act to follow that Sheikh Ahmed quickly called for a coffee break in the day-long meeting of Asia’s top sports administrators at Jakarta’s Mulia Hotel.Earlier the OCA general assembly approved Sanya in China to be the venue of the sixth Asian Beach Games in 2020 and heard progress reports from Asia’s next two Olympics hosts, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.Sheikh Ahmad also presented the OCA Award to Indonesia’s Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, in recognition of his work in leading the organisation of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, which began with a spectacular opening ceremony on Saturday.advertisementSheikh Ahmad pointed out that Indonesia had organised the Games in under three years following the withdrawal of original host Vietnam.”Yesterday we witnessed the first success of the Games – the Opening Ceremony,” said Sheikh Ahmad. “There were a lot of difficulties to reach that goal.” On receiving the award, Kalla said the Games symbolised the commitment of the people of Asia to build a better world and embrace the Olympic spirit.”I hope these Asian Games will inspire and encourage all the athletes in the build-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he said. (AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

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