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FBI eyes rash of Brentwood, Central Islip shootings

MS-13 gang graffiti on East Third Street has

MS-13 gang graffiti on East Third Street has been sprayed blocks away from where Joel Nieves, 16, was shot and left in critical condition Wednesday night while walking home from night class at Brentwood High School. (March 11, 2010) Photo Credit: James Carbone

In response to a rash of shootings in Brentwood and Central Islip, the FBI is reviewing the cases and considering ways its Long Island gang task force can help Suffolk police combat the violence, an FBI spokesman said Thursday.

The bureau's New York chief is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., Wednesday with Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) to discuss the problem, FBI spokesman James Margolin and Israel said.

The review and the meeting next week are part of a more aggressive approach to stem the recent surge in often deadly violence that continues to grip the neighboring towns. There were nine killings last year in the area and five since January.

"We're in an ongoing process of assessing how to apply our resources to a very important issue for the FBI and the people of Long Island," Margolin said.

Margolin said the FBI has had a gang task force on Long Island since 2002. He would not say how many agents are in the gang unit or where they are assigned.

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