An alleged MS-13 member has pleaded not guilty in connection to the murder of a man whose body was found a year later along the Meadowbrook Parkway on Long Island.
Luis Alejandro Varela, 21, pleaded not guilty after he was arrested for the August 2017 murder of Carlos Rivas-Majano, whose body was found near the parkway in August, 2018.
Varela is the sixth alleged gang member to be charged for his role in the death of Rivas-Majano.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said that it is alleged that on Aug. 11, 2017, Rivas-Majano told a family member that he was on his way home from a deli in Uniondale and never returned home.
“Rivas-Majano, a perceived enemy of the gang, was lured into the woods near the Meadowbrook Parkway and Glen Curtiss Boulevard in Uniondale, where he was hacked and stabbed to death with machetes,” Singas said.
Rivas-Majano’s body was recovered in a sump on Aug. 29 last year. The assailants are alleged to be members of the Downtown Criminals clique of MS-13.
“We will spare no resource in our effort to dismantle this violent street gang, which terrorizes our vulnerable immigrant communities," Singas said.
Varela entered the plea before Judge Angelo Deligatti to one count of second-degree murder. He has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, July 22. When he is sentenced, Varela will face a term of between 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
A co-defendant, Edar Ventura, was sentenced to a term in prison of 32 years to life in April after pleading guilty to two counts of murder and similar charges for the deaths of Rivas-Majano and Alexon-Moya.
Singas noted that the cases against Varela and several others are ongoing. More potential charges are pending.
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