A reputed MS-13 gang member has been arrested for allegedly killing an Brentwood High School student whose body was found in 2016, federal authorities told the Press.
Jerlin “Sonic” Villalta, 21, an El Salvadorian immigrant who lives in Brentwood, was charged with the murder of 18-year-old Jose Pena, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Members of the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force arrested Villalta, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Judge Joseph Bianco. The suspect was ordered held without bail.
The story was first reported by the New York Daily News, which said Villalta was picked up at a federal immigration office on Long Island.
Pena was the sixth victim of MS-13 found slain in Brentwood in a violent five-week span in the fall of 2016 that started with the double murder of two other Brentwood High School students, Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, whose parents were guests at President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address last week.
MS-13 has also been blamed for a quadruple murder in Central Islip last year, among dozens of other slayings locally.