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Long IslandCrime

Feds: MS-13 member charged in Nassau killing of rival gang member

An alleged member of MS-13, named in a national federal crackdown on the street gang in July, has been arrested in El Salvador in connection with a killing in Nassau County four years ago, according to officials.

Jose Guevara-Castro, 25, formerly of Roosevelt, and known by the gang nickname of “Suspechoso," or "shady one," has been identified as one of the eight adult and two juvenile members of MS-13 charged in six killings on Long Island. His arrest is part of a national crackdown on MS-13 announced last month by President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr.

Guevara-Castro was accused of killing Kerin Pineda, 20, of, Freeport, who, along with  the other murder victims, was believed to be a member or associate of the rival 18th Street gang, officials said.

Pineda was lured deep into a wooded area on the Merrick-Freeport border in May of 2016, and surrounded by MS-13 members, who hacked him to death with machetes, officials said.  Pineda was then buried in a hole that had been dug the day before.

Acting Eastern District United States Attorney Seth DuCharme Monday credited an anti-gang unit of the Salvadorean national police that receives technical and financial assistance by the United States for collaborating in capturing Guevara-Castro last week in Acajutla, Sonsonate, El Salvador.  

“Guevara’s arrest more than 2,000 miles from Long Island, where he allegedly participated in the brutal murder of a young man more than four years ago, is a testament to the commitment of this office and our law enforcement partners to bringing members of the MS-13 gang to justice for their crimes,” DuCharme said in a statement. “There is no place to hide, here or abroad, and neither distance nor the passage of time of time will offer any safe harbor to criminals from our mission to eradicate violent gangs from the Eastern District of New York.”

Prosecutors announced in July that as part of the national crackdown on the gang they would seek the death penalty for an MS-13 leader in Suffolk County for seven other killings that included the murders of two Brentwood High School teenage girls. Other MS-13 members in Virginia and Nevada were also charged.

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