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MS-13 Gang Member Arrested In El Salvador For Long Island Murder

A purported MS-13 gang member was arrested in El Salvador for a murder on Long Island.
A purported MS-13 gang member was arrested in El Salvador for a murder on Long Island. Photo Credit: Facebook

A fugitive member of the MS-13 street gang wanted for a murder on Long Island was located and arrested in El Salvador by a transnational anti-gang unit and the FBI, federal officials said.

José Jonathan Guevara-Castro, 25, also known as “Suspechoso,” an alleged member of MS-13, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 13 in Acajutla, Sonsonate, El Salvador. for an alleged murder on Long Island.

Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said that Guevara-Castro has been charged in a 24-count indictment, along with seven other MS-13 members, with racketeering offenses, murder and narcotics trafficking. 

Specifically, Guevara-Castro is charged with participating in the murder of 20-year-old Kerin Pineda, who was believed to be a member of the 18th Street gang, one of MS-13’s principal rivals. 

Prosecutors said that Pineda’s murder was committed as a joint venture between two different subgroups, or “cliques,” of the MS-13 operating on Long Island: the Hollywood Locos Salvatruchas clique, of which Guevara-Castro was an alleged member; and the Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside clique. 

On May 21, 2016, MS-13 members, armed with machetes, allegedly lured Pineda to a secluded wooded area near the Merrick-Freeport border, where he was surrounded and attacked. 

Pineda’s machete-mutilated corpse was then buried in a hole that had been dug the day before. Pineda’s corpse was recovered more than one year later.     

If convicted, Guevara-Castro faces life in prison.

“Guevara’s arrest more than 2,000 miles away from Long Island where he allegedly participated in the brutal murder of a young man more than four years ago, is a testament to the commitment of this Office and our law enforcement partners to bringing members of the MS-13 gang to justice for their crimes,” DuCharme said. 

“There is no place to hide, here or abroad, and neither distance nor the passage of time will offer any safe harbor to criminals from our mission to eradicate violent gangs from the Eastern District of New York.”

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