Anthony Gutierrez Meza, a 25-year-old Valley Stream resident, admitted via his guilty plea that he lured and eventually killed Estiven Abrego Gomez with a group of fellow MS-13 members, leaving his body to be found in the park, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney.
According to Gutierrez Meza’s guilty plea, he had asked Elmer Gilberto Santos Contreras, a higher-ranking MS-13 gang member, for permission to kill the 18-year-old Abrego Gomez. Contreras granted Guiterrez permission.
On the night of August 19, 2016, he lured Abrego Gomez using Facebook Messenger out to Greenlawn Pawk under the guise that they would smoke marijuana together.
The teen arrived at the park in the early hours of August 20, where he was met not just by Gutierrez Meza, but by Santos Contreras and six others, all brandishing weapons such as knives, machetes, and baseball bats.
Though Abrego Gomez attempted to run, the group outnumbered him, the DA’s Office said, and beat him so violently with the knives and bats that his hands were nearly amputated.
Once convinced he was dead, the group fled the scene.
Abrego Gomez’s body was found later that morning by a man walking his dogs.
“This was a brutal, senseless, and vicious execution of a young man who had his whole life ahead of him,” said District Attorney Ray Tierney.
“This guilty plea does nothing to bring Estiven Abrego Gomez back, but it will keep the defendant in prison…for a significant prison term.”
Gutierrez Meza pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and is due back in court on Tuesday, July 11, where the DA said he will be sentenced to up to 22 years behind bars.
He had previously pleaded guilty to an attempted murder charge for plotting to kill a rival gang member in Virginia and was in custody at the time of the indictment for Abrego Gomez’s murder.
Santos Contreras similarly pleaded guilty in December 2019 to second-degree murder.
Another co-conspirator, Carlos Lopez Campos, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April 2021, just a few months after he was found out-of-state and arrested.
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