A federal court in New York sentenced three members of MS-13 to more than 20 years each in prison for their roles in the murder of a fellow teenage gang member. The gang members killed their fellow MS-13 member because the suspected that he cooperated with law enforcement officials.
The court handed down sentences to Milton Contreras (27 years), Welman Espinoza-Merino, and Jose Osmin Rubio (24 years each) following their conviction for their roles in the murder of Sidney Valverde, a 19-year-old MS-13 gang member, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
The court also convicted a fourth gang member who is awaiting sentencing. A fifth member has been charged but not yet convicted, officials stated.
The co-conspirators lured Valverde to Long Island on February 24, 2014, by telling him they needed him to perform work for the MS-13 gang. The gang members intended to kill the teenager because they believed he provided information about their activities to law enforcement officials. After the teen arrived in Long Island, one of the gang members shot him in the back of the head and dumped his body on a beach in Suffolk County, New York. A local beachcomber found the body about two weeks later.
“Today’s sentence marks the final chapter in the pursuit of justice against these three MS-13 gang members who brutally murdered a teenager execution-style when they suspected him of cooperating with law enforcement,” United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard Donoghue said in a written statement. “This prosecution is part of the ongoing mission of this Office to protect the residents of this district from the violence and lawlessness of MS-13, and we will not rest until the MS-13 criminal organization is entirely dismantled.”
ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan M. Benedict added, “The individuals that committed this heinous act of violence are rightfully where they belong. While in prison, they can reflect on the terror and pain they inflicted on their community. Gangs like MS-13 that seek to terrorize the community putting citizens at fear for their lives should know that law enforcement is committed to rooting this evil from our society and making the streets safe for everyone.”
The prosecution came about through a continuing Homeland Security Investigations program known as Operation Community Shield. The enforcement operation led to the arrest of more than 4,000 MS-13 gang members. Nearly 3,000 civil immigration arrests of gang members also came out of the operation.