A reputed former leader of the Brentwood chapter of MS-13, the violent street gang, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for murdering two men and assaulting a third three years ago.

A jury had convicted 24-year-old Carlos “Silencio” Ortega in March at Central Islip federal court of racketeering, murder, assault with dangerous weapons and related firearms and conspiracy offenses.

“He will now have the rest of his life to contemplate the just results of his allegiance to the killing machine known as MS-13,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Ortega, who joined the gang in his native El Salvador, shot and killed 21-year-old David Sandler, whom the gang believed was a member of the rival Latin Kings street gang, in Brentwood in February 2010.

Ortega also shot and wounded Sandler’s friend, 20-year-old Aaron Galan, who was standing next to Sandler at the time.

Weeks later, in March 2010, Ortega killed fellow MS-13 member Mario Alberto Canton Quijada on a Far Rockaway beach when that victim attack rivals on the gang’s behalf.

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Ortega initially tried to shoot Quijada, but the gun jammed and Ortega hacked the victim to death with a machete and the help of other MS-13 members instead.

He was arrested following an investigation by the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, which prosecutors said helped secure convictions for more than 200 LI members of MS-13, one of the largest gangs on the Island.


Hofstra University Transfer

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.