Crime

MS-13 leader responsible for eight murders, including two teenage girls, avoids death penalty

An MS-13 gang leader in New York pleaded guilty to racketeering in a case involving the murders of eight people, including the brutal 2016 murders of two high school girls. Alexi Saenz, 29, admitted in his plea deal that he was responsible for ordering the murders of eight people. New York prosecutors had previously decided […]

An MS-13 gang leader in New York pleaded guilty to racketeering in a case involving the murders of eight people, including the brutal 2016 murders of two high school girls.

Alexi Saenz, 29, admitted in his plea deal that he was responsible for ordering the murders of eight people. New York prosecutors had previously decided against pursuing the death penalty for Saenz. Instead, Saenz will spend up to 70 years in prison.

FILE – In this Thursday, March 2, 2017, photo, accused MS-13 gang member Alexi Saenz is escorted by FBI agents in Central Islip, New York, after being taken into custody. (James Carbone/Newsday via AP, File)

Also Known as “Blasty” and “Big Homie,” Saenz was in charge of the MS-13 clique that operated in Brentwood and Central Islip in Long Island. The gang gained national attention, including from former President Donald Trump, after the bodies of Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were discovered mutilated. Prosecutors said Saenz greenlighted the murders in September 2016 after a fight broke out involving Cuevas at Brentwood High School.


Their deaths and the discovery of three additional teenagers in the following months led to a national outcry and pressure on law enforcement in the area.

Saenz is also charged in the Long Island killings of Michael Johnson, Oscar Acosta, Javier Castillo, Marcus Bohannon, Dewann Stacks, and Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla.

However, Saenz’s plea deal with authorities will only stand if his brother Jairo also pleads guilty. 

​​“His brother is not prepared to plead guilty today,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Scotti said in court. “To protect the interests of the government, if his brother does not plead we reserve the right to withdraw the plea agreement. We are attempting to enter a global plea.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

See also  Prosecutors say Menendez put power up for sale during closing arguments

Saenz, his brother, and several other gang members were indicted in 2017 on murder and racketeering charges.

MS-13 is a criminal organization that grew in Los Angeles during the 1980s as a result of Salvadorans fleeing to the United States from a civil war.

Share this article:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter