Jun. 22, 2023 By Bill Parry
Federal prosecutors brought criminal charges against 23 members of MS-13 in a series of brutal murders across Queens, including the torture and beating of a 17-year-old boy in Flushing’s Kissena Park in 2018.
A 48-count, superseding indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court on June 21 charging members and associates of the violent transnational criminal organization La Mara Salvatrucha, known as the MS-13, with racketeering conspiracy and related offenses including multiple murders and other acts of violence, drug distribution conspiracy and laundering conspiracy. The indictment adds charges against national MS-13 gang leader Edenison Velasquez Larin who was already in federal custody for his leadership role in allegedly ordering murders, drug distribution, and money laundering for MS-13.
Alleged MS-13 associates Juan Amaya-Ramirez, 25, of Fresh Meadows, and Oscar Flores Mejia, 23, of Elmhurst, were previously charged in the murder of 17-year-old Andy Peralta in Kissena Park on April 23, 2018. The superseding indictment adds murder charges against Leyla Carranza, 22, of Richmond Virginia, who allegedly lured Peralta to the park where the assailants beat, stabbed and strangled him and then posed for photographs while standing over the teenager’s corpse while they displayed MS-13 gang signs with their hands.
Seven other gang members were previously charged in the Peralta homicide investigation.
“The murders and other crimes of violence allegedly committed by these defendants were brutal, cold-blooded, and utterly senseless,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “This office and our law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to dismantle MS-13 at all of its levels, and we will not relent until this transnational criminal organization, its leaders, members, and associates are held accountable for the extreme violence and other criminal activity that they have perpetrated in our neighborhoods.”
The indictment adds charges against alleged MS-13 member Tito Martinez-Alvarenga, 23, for his role in the murder of Victor Alvarenga who was shot and killed near his Flushing home during the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2018. The indictment added charges against several MS-13 members who followed Abel Mosso into the Main Street 7 train station in Flushing thinking he was a member of the rival 18th Street gang. They attacked Mosso as the 7 train pulled into the 90th Street station in Jackson Heights dragging him onto the platform. When one of the defendants pulled out a firearm, Mosso wrestled it away. Alleged gang member Ramiro Gutierrez, 30, of Flushing, shouted in Spanish, “Nobody get involved, we’re MS-13, we’re going to kill him.” Guttierrez then grabbed the gun from Mosso and allegedly shot him multiple times, killing him, according to federal prosecutors.
The indictment charged alleged MS-13 member Oscar Hernandez Baires, 23, of Trenton, New Jersey, with murder in the revenge killing of Eric Monge on Sept. 6, 2020 who was gunned down inside his car near home on Parsons Boulevard in College Point. Monge’s wife had just taken their young children into their residence and returned to the car as her husband was shot to death. Hernandez Baire was booked at the 109th Precinct in Flushing Wednesday afternoon.
The NYPD also arrested 7 MS-13 gang members in the city on June 21, while other members and associates were arrested on Long Island and in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Colorado.
“Today’s charges again show that NYPD investigators, in close collaboration with our law enforcement partners, are relentless in seeking justice against gangs — no matter when or where their brutal violence is carried out,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
“The defendants charged are alleged to have participated in heinous gang violence and criminal behavior that brought fear and terror to our communities,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll said. “The indictments today mark another success in our fight against the continued threat posed by MS-13.”