Nassau County Man Sentenced For MS-13 Murder Of 18-Year-Old At Park

A 20-year-old man has been sentenced for his role in the MS-13 murder of an 18-year-old at a Long Island park in 2016.

Massapequa Park Preserve
Massapequa Park Preserve Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Samuel Ponce, of Hempstead, was sentenced to nine years to life in prison for killing Bryan Steven Cho Lemus, of Uniondale, Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith announced.

Ponce pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Monday, June 28.

On Aug. 23 of 2016, Lemus was lured into the Massapequa Park Preserve, where he was killed with machetes by Ponce and other MS-13 members, Smith said.

The DA's Office reported that Lemus' body was found by officers in a shallow grave in the park on May 24 of 2019.

Ponce was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department on Sept. 17 of 2019.

“Bryan Lemus’ life was violently cut short when he was ambushed and murdered with machetes by Samuel Ponce and other members of MS-13,” said Acting DA Smith. “NCDA continues its work to rid Nassau County of this ruthless gang violence and ensure that these dangerous individuals are taken off our streets. 

"I thank our partners at the Nassau County Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and FBI Long Island Gang Task Force for their assistance in this case.”

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