MS-13 gang leader, 22 members indicted for ‘cold-blooded’ murders.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged an alleged leader national leader and 22 members of the MS-13 gang with murder and other acts of violence.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced a 48-count superseding indictment against Edenilson Velasquez Larin, “allegedly a national leader of the MS-13 and the Fulton Locos Salvatruchas (Fulton) clique, for his leadership role in allegedly ordering murders, drug distribution, and money laundering for the MS-13.”

The indictment detailed a number of murders and attempted murders carried out by the gang against rival gang members as well as their own, often using guns and machetes.

Prosecutors said that starting in late 2019 alleged Fulton clique leaders Velasquez Larin and Espinoza Sanchez ordered alleged MS-13 members, including Jose Arevalo Iraheta, Oscar Hernandez Baires, and Erick Zavala Hernandez, to scour the Elmont, New York, neighborhood in search of rival 18th Street members to kill for encroaching on their territory.

In spring 2020, Velasquez Larin, also known as “Agresor,” “Saturno,” and “Paco,” allegedly arranged for Fulton clique members from Maryland to travel to New York to assist in the search for rival gang members in Elmont, according to prosecutors.

“Alleged MS-13 member Jose Arevalo Iraheta and a Fulton member from Maryland ultimately found an individual they believed to be an 18th Street member and shot at him,” prosecutors said.

The superseding indictment also included charges against 22 associates of MS-13 and the Fulton clique for their roles in multiple alleged murders, attempted murders, drug distribution and money laundering.

A tree with MS13 graffiti is pictured in the Langley Hampshire Neighborhood Park in Langley Park, Maryland, in a gang hangout area known as the cemetery.
A tree with MS13 graffiti is pictured in the Langley Hampshire Neighborhood Park in Langley Park, Maryland, in a gang hangout area known as the cemetery. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Among the new charges was a murder charge against Leyla Carranza for allegedly luring 17-year-old Andy Peralta to a park in Queens, New York, so that he could be fatally beaten, stabbed, and strangled, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors had previously charged alleged MS-13 associates Juan Amaya-Ramirez and Oscar Flores-Mejia with Peralta’s murder.

“Peralta’s killers photographed themselves posing over Peralta’s corpse while they displayed MS-13 gang signs with their hands,” prosecutors said. The photo was found in Amaya-Ramirez’s iCloud account by authorities, according to prosecutors.

Wednesday’s indictment also added new charges in the 2018 shooting murder of Victor Alvarenga near his home in Queens, naming alleged MS-13 national leader Velasquez Larin, Jose Espinoza Sanchez, and Tito Martinez-Alvarenga. Prosecutors said Larin gave the order to kill Alvarenga and Sanchez oversaw the murder.

The indictment additionally charged Emerson Martinez-Lara and Ismael Santos-Novoa for their alleged roles as lookouts during the 2019 murder of Abel Mosso on a subway platform in Queens. Prosecutors had previously charged Ramiro Gutierrez, Tito Martinez-Alvarenga and Victor Lopez in Mosso’s murder.

MS-13 gang leader Victor Lopez is led out of the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, New York on January 11, 2018.
MS-13 gang leader Victor Lopez is led out of the Nassau County District Attorney’s office in Mineola, New York on January 11, 2018. (Newsday/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Prosecutors alleged that on the afternoon of Feb. 3, Lopez and Martinez-Alvarenga followed Mosso, who they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang, onto a train platform in Queens. Mosso was also trailed by Gutierrez.

Once inside the subway car, Lopez and Martinez-Alvarenga assaulted Mosso and then dragged him out onto the platform at a later stop.

“The defendants pulled out a gun, but Mosso wrestled it away. Gutierrez shouted in Spanish, ‘Nobody gets involved, we’re MS-13, we’re going to kill him’,” prosecutors said. Gutierrez was able to grab the gun from Mosso and allegedly shot him multiple times, killing him, according to prosecutors.

Among new charges for murder committed within the gang was a murder charge against MS-13 member Oscar Hernandez Baires, who allegedly shot and killed MS-13 member Eric Monge in 2020 while he was sitting in a parked car near his Queens home.

Monge had previously assaulted Baires, according to prosecutors.

“Monge’s wife had just taken their young children into their residence and returned to the car to find parking when Hernandez Baires and the other individual opened fire,” prosecutors said.

Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, called the alleged actions carried out by the alleged gang members “cold-blooded.”

“The murders and other crimes of violence allegedly committed by these defendants were brutal, cold-blooded, and utterly senseless,” Peace said. “This Office and our law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to dismantle the MS-13 at all of its levels, and we will not relent until this transnational criminal organization, its leaders, members, and associates are held accountable for the extreme violence and other criminal activity that they have perpetrated in our communities.”