A teenage member of the MS-13 gang has been sentenced to more than five decades in prison for his role in the April 2017 murders of four people on Long Island.
Central Islip resident Josue Portillo, 18, a member of the Leeward Locos Salvatruchas clique of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, has been sentenced to 55 years in prison following his guilty plea to racketeering charges for the murders of Justin Llivicura, Michael Lopez, Jorge Tigre, and Jefferson Villalobos.
U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue noted that Portillo is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, and he will face deportation when he is released from prison.
On April 11, 2017, two female associates of the street gang lured five men, including the four victims, who were believed to be rivals, to a park in Central Islip at the direction of Portillo and other gang members.
At the park, Portillo and others distributed weapons and discussed the plan to kill their rivals. When the two women lured the men to a wooded area, Portillo and the other members of MS-13 killed their four victims using machetes, knives, wooden clubs and an ax. The fifth victim escaped and the bodies were found the next day.
Donoghue noted that Portillo was under 16 at the time of the murders and was initially charged as a juvenile, though that decision was eventually reversed. In August last year, Portillo waived his indictment and pleaded guilty to his role in the murders.
“Portillo and his co-defendants slaughtered four young men on behalf of the MS-13,” Donoghue stated. “Nothing can bring back the young lives lost, and no sentence imposed by a court can truly bring justice in this situation, but the Eastern District and our partners in the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force will continue to work relentlessly to eliminate the scourge of MS-13 violence.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeny added, “MS-13 and the actions of the gang members, in this case, defy comprehension. These are teenagers who think human life is some sort of game, viciously murdering other teenagers because they were disrespected. The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force is working closely with our law enforcement partners and the community to prevent more attacks and murders from happening.”
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