- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 5, 2018

An MS-13 gang member pleaded guilty Thursday to firearms charges in connection with a July 2014 murder in Long Island, New York, community of Brentwood, the Department of Justice announced.

Edwin Amaya Sanchez, a Salvadoran national who prosecutors say entered the country illegally, admitted to the slaying of Jose Lainez-Murcia. MS-13 members suspected Mr. Lainez-Murcia had murdered some of its members in El Salvador.

Amaya Sanchez said he drove the gang members into the neighborhood where Mr. Lainez-Murcia lived and killed him in a car outside his home on July 14, 2014. He also picked up the gang members and drove them away as they fled from the slaying.

According to court documents Amaya-Sanchez pleaded guilty to brandishing and discharge of farms during crimes of violence. He faces between 10 years and life in prison and will likely be deported upon completion of his sentence, prosecutors said. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18 before U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bianco.

“MS-13 believes it can operate with its own form of vigilante justice, without any repercussions,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of its New York Field Office. “The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force won’t allow them to continue terrorizing the community, acting outside of the law.”

The government’s case was handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys John J. Durham, Paul G. Scotti, Michael T. Keilty and Raymond A. Tierney are overseeing the prosecution.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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