A reputed ex-MS-13 street gang chapter leader was sentenced Monday to life in prison for fatally shooting a 19-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son in Central Islip three years ago, among others.

Heriberto “Boxer” Martinez, 26, had been convicted at Central Islip federal court in March of murder, racketeering, assault with dangerous weapons and related firearms and conspiracy offenses.

“Martinez authorized the execution of a young mother, whom he believed had disrespected the gang, ordered the execution of a security guard for doing his job, and … carried out the execution of a fellow MS-13 member who refused to commit senseless, violent crimes,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Martinez’ co-defendant, Carlos “Silencio” Ortega, was convicted of the same charges and also sentenced to life in prison last month.

Prosecutors said Martinez helped three of his co-conspirators evade arrest in the murder of Vanessa Argueta and her toddler son, Diego Torres in February 2010.

Martinez and four fellow gang members used the same gun to shoot 23-year-old Nestor Moreno, a security guard at El Rancho Bar and Grill in Hempstead, in March 2010 following a dispute over an unpaid bar tab in which Martinez was sprayed with pepper spray.

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That same month, Martinez and Ortega murdered fellow MS-13 member Mario Alberto Canton Quijada on the beach in Far Rockaway—hacking him to death with machetes—because of his reluctance to attack rival gang members on behalf of the MS-13.


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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.