FBI says New York migrant gang MS-13 trying to ‘rebuild’ after indictment update for string of machete murders

Alleged MS-13 members face new racketeering charges in 2016 murders of Long Island men

The FBI sounded the alarm Wednesday that the Central American migrant street gang MS-13 that previously wreaked havoc in New York’s Long Island has been working to "rebuild" in announcing a new indictment on racketeering charges in a string of murders. 

In federal court in Central Islip, a 29-count superseding indictment was unsealed charging eight members and associates of the violent transnational criminal organization Mara Salvatrucha, known as the "MS-13," with multiple racketeering offenses, including predicate racketeering acts involving murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and related narcotics and firearms offenses.

The murders included the shooting of a 27-year-old suspected rival Bloods gang member Marcus Bohannon on a street in Central Islip in 2016. 

The superseding indictment cites brutal separate 2016 machete hacking deaths of suspected rival 18th Street gang members Kerin Pineda and Javier Castillo allegedly each lured into the woods or isolated marsh areas before being fatally slashed by a group of MS-13 members lying in wait who then buried the bodies in holes. 

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This file photo shows Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) ICE agents detain a suspected MS-13 gang member and Honduran immigrant at his home on March 29, 2018, in Brentwood, New York. 

This file photo shows Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) ICE agents detain a suspected MS-13 gang member and Honduran immigrant at his home on March 29, 2018, in Brentwood, New York.  (John Moore/Getty Images)

MS-13 members are also accused in the separate 2016 shooting of Carlos Ventura-Zelaya "marked for death" over his alleged membership in the rival 18th Street gang

"We are making a positive impact in the communities once terrorized by these MS-13 members, but we are seeing signs the gang is attempting to rebuild," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, Michael Driscoll, said in a statement. "Along with our law enforcement partners on our Long Island Gang Task Force, we remain determined to prevent that from happening, but we cannot do it alone. We need the public to remain vigilant and contact us with any information they have to prevent another rash of MS-13 murders." 

The defendants are Jose Moises Blanco, Oseas Gonzalez, Jose Jonathan Guevara-Castro, Victor Lopez-Morales, Ever Morales-Lopez, David Sosa-Guevara, Kevin Torres and Kevin Cuevas Del Cid.

This file photo shows a Suffolk County officer checks a car that was spray-painted with MS-13 gang grafitti in Huntington Station, New York on March 11, 2008. 

This file photo shows a Suffolk County officer checks a car that was spray-painted with MS-13 gang grafitti in Huntington Station, New York on March 11, 2008.  (Kathy Kmonicek/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

This file photo shows Recreation Village Town Park after four teenagers were brutally murdered by a group that attacked them with machetes, April 19, 2017, in Central Islip, Long Island, New York. Many suspect MS-13 was involved. 

This file photo shows Recreation Village Town Park after four teenagers were brutally murdered by a group that attacked them with machetes, April 19, 2017, in Central Islip, Long Island, New York. Many suspect MS-13 was involved.  (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Sosa-Guevara is also charged in connection with a May 2020 stabbing assault against a rival gang member in custody at the Nassau County Correctional Center.

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"The superseding indictment demonstrates the resolve of this Office and the Long Island Gang Task Force to bring to justice the MS-13 gang members responsible for each and every one of the appalling and senseless murders they have committed in our communities on Long Island and elsewhere," Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said. "It is my hope that these latest charges bring some consolation to the families of the victims."