A member of MS-13 was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for taking part, at age 17, in the brutal murder of a man mistaken for a member of a rival gang, according to officials.
Marlon Guevara, now 20, of Brentwood, used the nickname “Mosquito” and played a role in the killing of Dewann Stacks, officials said.
Stacks, 34, was walking down a Brentwood street at 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2016 when he encountered a group of about a half-dozen MS-13 members seeking to harm rival gang members, officials have said.
Guevara used a machete in the murder, as did an adult member of the gang, along with another MS-13 member who used a bat, official said. The hacking and beating of Stacks was so severe that it left him "nearly unrecognizable,“ officials said.
“With today’s sentence, Guevara will now pay for participating in the execution of Dewann Stacks as part of MS-13’s warped mission to attack and kill perceived rivals,” Eastern District United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “The brutality of this murder is a reminder of the necessity of the Eastern District and the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force’s commitment to eradicate MS-13.”
As a juvenile charged as an adult, Guevara cannot face a death penalty. But several of the other MS-13 members who took part in the Stacks murder are facing potential death sentences.
Those adult gang members include Jairo and Alexi Saenz, the leaders of the gang’s Sailors clique in Brentwood.
In addition to Stacks’ murder, the Saenz brothers are also each charged with five other murders, including that of two Brentwood High School girls, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens. Guevara is not charged in the other murders.
Guevara was originally charged as a juvenile, but he voluntarily agreed to be charged as an adult as part of a plea deal.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco has transferred at least seven members of MS-13 charged with murder to adult status mainly at the request of federal prosecutors on grounds that their crimes are inordinately brutal and that as juvenile gang members they have had a history of being incorrigible, according to officials. Two of those juveniles transferred in this manner to adult status have received sentences of 55 and 50 years, respectively, in unrelated MS-13 murders.
Voluntarily transferring from juvenile to adult sentence can lead to a lesser sentence.
In asking for a sentence for his client of only about 13 years, Guevara’s attorney, Joseph Ferrante, said in court papers that his client came to the United States from El Salvador as a teenager and joined the gang because of “the extreme pressures that young men have to join and seek status and protection in a cruel and foreign land.”
In their reply papers, Eastern District federal prosecutors Justina Geraci, John Durham and Paul Scotti wrote: “While the defendant encountered difficulties [they are] otherwise indistinguishable from countless other immigrants from El Salvador, who … choose not to join the MS-13 and commit horrific acts of violence.”