Seventeen reputed MS-13 street gang members and associates were arrested this week on murder, conspiracy and drug trafficking charges in a round-up spanning Nassau County, New Jersey and Maryland, authorities said.
Among the accused were David Sosa “Risky” Guevara and Victor Lopez, who were charged with second-degree murder for the July 19 killing of 15-year-old Angel Soler, whose cement-encased mutilated remains police unearthed Oct. 19 in a Roosevelt preserve, according to local and federal investigators.
“This massive multi-agency investigation laid bare the global size, complexity, and brutality of MS-13, and these indictments strike a heavy blow to the gang’s operations on Long Island,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
The case, which started as a heroin and cocaine trafficking case, was one of three indictments that took down the MS-13 leader in charge of the El Salvador-based gang’s Northeast operation, but authorities did identify the suspect, who was arrested in Maryland. Twenty-two agencies were involved in the joint investigation, including the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force.
“A local drug investigation led to unveiling ruthless MS-13 cliques responsible for murder, assaults and drug trafficking in our backyard,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said. “Not only did we arrest the highest-level Mara Salvatrucha leader in the Northeast who reports to MS-13 in El Salvador, but we sent a message that we will continue to investigate their violent crimes and bring justice to their victims.”
Besides murder, some of the suspects were also charged with operating as a major trafficker. All of the suspects face up to 25 years to life in prison, if convicted of the top charges in the indictments.
The gang’s leaders allegedly instructed LI-based MS-13 members to kill a suspected informant in Maryland in September, but that hit was thwarted by investigators, officials said. Another LI-linked attempted murder was also thwarted in New Jersey.
“Today’s indictments of charges on murder, conspiracy and drug charges is a stark reminder that our work is not done in our quest to rid these violent street gangs form our neighborhoods,” said acting Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “Although we are making great strides regarding our enforcement aspect, we must also be there to educate the young adults and children in these communities. I cannot have good families and their children in our Hispanic communities be intimidated.”