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Queens Chronicle

Reputed MS-13 members indicted over Alley Pond Park murder

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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 4:51 pm

Three MS-13 members have been indicted for the 2017 Alley Pond Park stabbing murder of 16-year-old Julio Vasquez, federal prosecutors said Thursday. 

An 18-count superseding indictment was filed Thursday in Brooklyn federal court, charging three members of the vicious gang variously with racketeering, murder, attempted murder, murder conspiracy, robbery and related firearms charges. Among the offenses added in the new indictment are murder charges against Briarwood resident Melvi Amador-Rios, 28, and Jamaica residents Josue Leiva, 22, and new defendant Luis Rivas, 24.

They're in the Centrales Locos Salvatruchas clique of the gang, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. Prosecutors identified Amador-Rios — whose nicknames are "Letal" and "Pinky" — as the faction's leader.

In early 2017, the reputed gang member allegedly authorized the murder of someone referred to as John Doe 2 — a "chequeo," or low-level MS-13 member. He was suspected of associating with a rival gang.

Then, Amador-Rios suspected that another chequeo, John Doe 3, had warned John Doe 2 that Centrales Locos Salvatruchas wanted to kill him. 

The alleged clique leader then ordered ordered the murder of John Doe 3, prosecutors said, and Vasquez, also a CLS chequeo, was tasked with carrying out the hit.

After Vasquez failed to kill John Doe 3, and because he was also suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, Amador-Rios allegedly ordered him dead. 

On May 16, 2017, the teen was lured into a wooded area of Alley Pond Park, where Leiva and Rivas allegedly stabbed him multiple times, killing him. His body was discovered five days later. 

The superseding indictment also adds a robbery charge and associated firearms offense against Amador-Rios and Rivas.  On Jan. 8, 2017, they allegedly robbed a money transfer business in Jamaica at gunpoint, and pistol-whipped an employee.

The defendants face life in prison if convicted. 

“The mindless violence embodied by MS-13 presents extreme danger to our communities and underscores the resolve of this Office, together with our law enforcement partners, to eradicate the gang,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a prepared statement.

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