MS-13 gang member indicted in fellow member's slaying, feds say

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An alleged MS-13 member who used the alias "Viruz" was indicted Thursday in the killing of fellow gang member Sidney Valverde in Suffolk County in February.

Byron Lopez, 23, of Queens lured Valverde to Long Island by saying he was needed to assist in gang business and then killed him and left his body on a beach in Miller Place because he was suspected of being an informant, prosecutors said.

Valverde, who went by the nickname "Zombie," was shot in the back of the head on Feb. 25, and his body was discovered by a beachcomber two weeks later, the government said.

Citing the gang's "particularly brutal brand of violence and lawlessness . . . throughout Queens and Long Island," Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called the case "part of our ongoing mission to dismantle MS-13 wherever and whenever it rears its head."

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Lopez pleaded not guilty at an appearance in federal court in Brooklyn Thursday and was detained without bail.

His lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that their evidence in the case included witness testimony, cellphone records and admissions by Lopez in his Facebook account, but declined to provide details of the admissions.

In the motion urging no bail, they also attached several pictures from Lopez's Facebook account that showed him wielding a machete, wearing MS-13 colors and using gang hand signals, and displaying the letters "M" and "S" on a chest tattoo.

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