Six members of the MS-13 gang are accused of butchering a Massachusetts teenager with a knife as if they were “chopping wood.”
The gang members were charged in a Boston federal courtroom Wednesday with racketeering in connection with the August 2 slaying of 17-year-old Herson Rivas.
Authorities discovered the teen’s body in a wooded area of Lynn, a suburb located nearly four miles away from Boston.
Court documents state that one of the suspects stabbed Rivas “with such force his knife became warped during the attack.”
Prosecutors believe the MS-13 members—many of whom are illegal aliens—murdered Rivas because he was thought to be cooperating with law enforcement.
One of the six suspects, a 19-year-old Salvadorean national named Henri Salvador Gutierrez, had evaded deportation the month before the murder.
Authorities say Salvador successfully convinced an immigration judge that he was not a threat to public safety or involved in a gang.
In fact, at least four of the suspects entered the U.S. illegally from El Salvador, and immigration authorities had detained at least two of the suspects before releasing them.
“MS-13 is a ruthless, transnational gang operating in our backyard,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement. “This group routinely commits senseless acts of violence, including murder, to maintain control and instill fear.”
All of the suspects are in custody on state charges or detained by federal immigration officials, waiting to answer to their charges in federal court.
If convicted, the six suspects face sentences of up to life in prison.
The Salvadorean gang’s violence is well-known, even capturing the attention of President Trump, who has referred to MS-13 members as “animals” because of their heinous crimes.