Wednesday, February 8
Law

Suffolk DA: Announce Indictment of MS-13 Gang Member for 2016 Murder in Greenlawn

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Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart have announced the indictment of a third MS-13 gang member in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Estiven Abrego-Gomez, of Greenlawn, in August 2016.

“This victim – like many other victims of MS-13 – was brutally murdered over a mere perceived rivalry,” District Attorney Sini said. “Even after the apprehension of two of Abrego-Gomez’s alleged murderers last year, law enforcement did not stop investigating and collecting intelligence on MS-13, which led to this latest arrest. When my Office brought the largest takedown of MS-13 gang members in our nation’s history in December of last year, we decimated the gang’s foothold here on Long Island, but community members can rest assured that we did not and will not stop our investigation and prosecution of this dangerous gang.”

“The Suffolk County Police Department is committed to bringing to justice those responsible for Estiven Abrego-Gomez’s death, and this latest arrest signifies those efforts,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “Our continued commitment to dismantle MS-13 from the streets of Suffolk County has not wavered, and we commend the DA’s Office, SCPD Homicide Squad, and all our law enforcement partners for their hard work and dedication on this case.”

Carlos Lopez Campos, 26, of Owings Mills, Maryland, is charged with Murder in the Second Degree, an A felony.

At approximately 7:11 a.m. on Aug. 20, 2016, a man was walking near Greenlawn Park at the intersection of Pulaski Road and Broadway when he discovered Abrego-Gomez’s body. The victim was found with significant lacerations on his body, including the near severance of his hands. The man flagged down a passing motorist who called 911 and Suffolk County Police officers from the Second Precinct responded.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Abrego-Gomez’s cause of death to be sharp force injuries and blunt force trauma.

An extensive investigation by the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Squad and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office’s Homicide Bureau resulted in the indictment in March 2019 of Elmer Gilberto Santos Contreras, 25, who is charged with Murder in the Second Degree, an A felony. Further investigation revealed that Campos also allegedly took part in Abrego-Gomez’s murder.

The investigation revealed evidence that the defendants allegedly murdered Abrego-Gomez because they believed he was a member of the 18th Street gang, a rival of MS-13.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents from the New York and Maryland offices, and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), took Lopez-Campos into custody in Maryland on Oct. 19. He was extradited to New York and arrested on October 21.

Campos was arraigned on the indictment yesterday by Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei and was remanded without bail. He is due back in court on Dec. 7.

If convicted, Campos faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Contreras’ case is pending. A third alleged co-conspirator, Anthony Gutierrez-Meza, 23, is currently in custody on unrelated charges in Virginia and will be arraigned on the indictment at a later date.

This case is being prosecuted by the Homicide Bureau.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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