On March 2nd, Suffolk County Police and the FBI charged eight alleged MS-13 gang members in the murder of three Brentwood teens last year. A new indictment was filed in an outstanding racketeering case to add the three recent killings. A total of thirteen MS-13 gang members are charged with seven murders, dating from 2013 to 2016.
Two Brentwood students, Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15, were the victims of a brutal beating by MS-13 members in September 2016. They died from “blunt force trauma.” Mickens and Cuevas were killed when a group of MS-13 members went out looking for enemies. The gang did not specifically target the two young women. When they encountered Mickens, the MS members recognized her as a person who had been feuding with them on social media. Cuevas was killed merely for being with her friend Mickens at the time of the attack.
Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, was believed to be working with the police at the time of his death. According to the FBI, Jose Pena-Hernandez was seen as a traitor to the gang, of which he had been a member before his death. He was killed at the former Pilgrim State Psychiatric facility.
Over the last five months, 125 alleged MS members have been charged with state and federal crimes. At a press conference today, Suffolk Police Chief Tim Sini thanked the community in Brentwood for coming together to work against gang violence.
“For far too long on Long Island, members of the MS-13 have been meting out their own death penalty,” said Robert Capers, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District. Although MS-13 is a relatively small gang, with an estimated 200 members in Suffolk, according to Sini, it has terrorized the immigrant community in Brentwood over the last year.
Watch the full police press conference on the event below: