They (MS-13) lured Gomez into the car, inviting him to smoke marijuana with them at the nearby Freeman Avenue Park. After exiting the car, Torres stepped behind Gomez and fired a bullet from a .357 caliber revolver into the back of Gomez’s head, and fired a second shot into Gomez’s head after the victim fell to the ground. Torres then handed the gun to the other MS-13 member, who fired a third shot into Gomez’s head.
The indictment also charges Alvarenga and Francisco Ponce, also known as “Spoiler,” with a non-fatal shooting that took place on July 24, 2008, in Timberline Park in Brentwood; Ponce, Freddy Fuentes-Gonzalez, also known as “Pitufo,” and Joyser Velasquez, also known as “Baby Boy,” with the February 15, 2009, conspiracy and armed robbery of the Pollo Campero restaurant in Lindenhurst, New York; Ponce and Velasquez with the December 19, 2009, conspiracy and armed robbery of the Wilson Express Corp., a check-cashing and money transfer business in Patchogue, New York; and Velasquez with a January 20, 2010, conspiracy to rob a McDonald’s restaurant in Smithtown, New York. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. In addition, Alvarenga and Torres, who are charged with the Hamilton and Gomez murders, respectively, each face mandatory life in prison, or the death penalty.
“The MS-13 thrives on violence—violence directed at suspected rivals, as in the Hamilton murder and Timberline Park shooting, violence against its own members, as demonstrated in the Gomez murder, and violence directed at innocent, hard-working Long Islanders, as demonstrated in the armed robberies charged in this indictment,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Today we mark the latest product of the tenacious investigations conducted by the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance in this case.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk stated, “The indictment illustrates two ongoing themes. MS-13 continues to use violence, including cold-blooded murder, to intimidate rivals and enforce discipline within its own ranks. Charges include the point-blank execution of an MS-13 member suspected of cooperating. And, the FBI and the Long Island Gang Task Force will continue to make cases and arrest MS-13 leaders and members.”
“Gangs are like a cancer on our communities, and unless we deal with them directly, effectively and immediately they will continue to grow,” said Suffolk County Police Department Acting Commissioner Webber. “We will steadfastly work with our local and federal law enforcement partners to put an end to their violent criminal acts.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John J. Durham and Raymond A. Tierney. The charges announced today are the latest in a series of indictments by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York against members of the MS-13, a violent international street gang. Over the past decade, more than 150 MS-13 members, including the leaders of a number of the MS-13 cliques on Long Island, have been arrested and convicted on federal felony charges in this district, including federal racketeering and murder charges.
These prosecutions are the result of investigations led by the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the FBI, Suffolk County Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and the Suffolk County Probation Department.
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