The notorious MS-13 gang has been stacking up bodies on Long Island for months, authorities say.
The most recent murder charge came Tuesday against Josue Figueroa-Velasquez, 18, who is accused of helping two others in the gruesome killing of a 16-year-old boy with a machete. Cops also discovered an unidentified new body in connection with the arrest of Figueroa-Velasquez, according to WABC-TV in New York City.
Figueroa-Velasquez has pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder.
Cops discovered the victim Angel Soler’s mutilated body last October, a few months after he was reported missing. They found two other bodies within a five-mile radius over a nine-day period, according to the New York Post. And another body related to MS-13 turned up in April. The most recent discovery of an unidentified corpse on Long Island brings the gang’s body count to at least five bodies in the past nine months.
Police allege that Figueroa-Velasquez, along with David Sosa-Guevara, 26, and Victor Lopez, 29, murdered Soler on July 21, 2017, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. They mutilated his body, prosecutors say, and dumped it in a wooded area in Roosevelt, south of the Southern State Parkway. Then they allegedly covered his remains in concrete.
It is not the first time alleged MS-13 members have used machetes as their weapon of choice in the Long Island area.
Sosa-Guevera and Lopez were charged in January as part of a 21-count indictment against 17 alleged members of MS-13 that included charges of murder, conspiracy and drug trafficking. Those charges originated from a seven-month joint investigation between various federal and local law enforcement agencies that spread out into several states beyond New York, including Maryland, New Jersey and Texas.
Cops contend they thwarted three attempted murders during the time of that investigation and seriously hobbled MS-13’s operating power on Long Island.
The most recent body cops found came as the result of a tip that coincided with the arrest of Figueroa-Velazquez, according to WABC-TV.
"There are human remains in there at this time we're not going to be able to identify until DNA comes back,” a police official told WABC-TV.
Authorities say some MS-13 members on Long Island report directly back to some of the group's leaders in El Salvador.
[Photo: Nassau County Police Department]