Nassau PD

Teen Charged With Murder In Brutal MS-13 Killing Of Another Teen On Long Island

June 15, 2018 - 4:50 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Long Island teenager has been arrested in connection with the death of another teen who police said was as a victim of the violent MS-13 gang.

Jose Lopez, 19, of Roosevelt was arraigned Friday on a murder charge in the killing of 19-year-old Josue Amaya Leonor.

Leonor vanished nearly two years ago but his remains were found a couple of weeks ago.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at the time there was "no doubt'' Leonor was a victim of MS-13.

Police Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said Leonor had switched schools and was seen associating with people considered to be enemies of MS-13.

Leonor's body was found in a wooded area of the Roosevelt Preserve on May 30, two years after he was reported missing. Fitzpatrick said a machete was used in the killing.

"At that time they marked him as a victim of future murder," Fitzpatrick said. "Some of these former friends lured him into the woods on the night of his death with the idea that they were going to smoke marijuana. Once they got into the woods they attacked him and killed him there."

Leonor had been friends with two other young men who were also killed by MS-13 gang members, police said.

Five or six other people were involved in Leonor's death, Fitzpatrick said.

Lopez pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. He was already in the custody for Homeland Security investigators for being in the country illegally, 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reprted.

MS-13 is believed to be behind 25 killings on Long Island in the past two years and has become a prime target of President Donald Trump's administration.