Federal authorities have rounded up nearly a dozen members of the murderous MS-13 street gang, each of whom face multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery, and other acts of thuggery dating back to 2008, the United States Attorney’s Office announced today.
In a 50-count indictment, the feds lay out a pattern of senseless violence that continues to plague Long Island and other outlying areas of New York City.
One of the murders detailed in the indictment happened at a grocery store in Brentwood, which happens to be the same grocery store where another MS-13 murder took place less than five months later (which we wrote about in a profile of a witness who managed to escape the shooting with his life).
According to the indictment, on September 12, 2009, MS-13 thugs Joyser “Baby Boy” Velazquez, 28, and an unidentified co-defendant entered the Los Hermanos Grocery Store near Timberline Drive and Second Avenue in Brentwood with the intention of robbing it. Waiting outside to act as the getaway driver was 30-year-old Francisco “Spoiler” Ponce.
Inside the store, 57-year-old Miguel Peralta was sweeping out a
storeroom in the back when he heard a commotion coming from the front.
When he went to check it out, he was met by Velazquez, who shot him in
Still alive, Peralta ran down one of the aisles in an
attempt to get away from the attackers. Before he could escape, however,
the unidentified gangster shot him in the head.
In other cases,
MS-13 gangsters are charged with attempted murder for failed attempts to
kill rival gangsters for no reason other than to gain complete
acceptance by the gang. In other words, to become a real MS-13 gangster
you have to kill a rival thug.
MS-13 gangsters have been running wild in Long Island for years — even as authorities work tirelessly to bring them to justice.
“[MS-13 is] everywhere in Brentwood,” a former Brentwood resident, who was shot by an MS-13 gangster, told the Voice earlier this year. “They hang out in front of the junior
high and hit on 13-year-old girls. They’d roll up 10 deep and try and
fight people, and you have to fight back. If you get labeled a punk in
Brentwood, you’re done. But the cops didn’t care until people started
If convicted, each of the 11 gangsters face up to life in prison. Some, authorities say, could face the death penalty.