Long Island MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty to 2016 Brentwood Murder | USAO-EDNY
Earlier today, in Federal Court in Central Islip, Nelson Argueta-Quintanilla, a member of the Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside (Sailors) clique of La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, a transnational criminal organization, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges relating to his participation in the murder of Oscar Acosta, the attempted murder of suspected members of rival gangs and a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. The guilty plea was entered before US circuit judge Joseph F. Bianco.
Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Deputy Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Stuart Cameron, Acting Commissioner , Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the guilty plea.
“With today’s guilty plea, the accused, a member of the infamous MS-13, admits to actively participating in a brutal murder in which the victim was savagely stabbed with a machete after being beaten, tied up and thrown in the trunk of a car. Further, compounding his blind disregard for human life, the accused also admits to attempting to murder rival gang members by approaching from outside a house where they were standing and opening fire on them, “Acting US Attorney Kasulis said.” This office and the Long Island Gang Task Force are deeply committed to dismantling MS-13 and eliminating the threat of their senseless violence from our communities. â
“This guilty plea will ensure that another violent member of MS-13, who has no respect for human life, will be jailed for his senseless and brutal crimes,” said Acting SCPD Commissioner Cameron. âI want to commend the Long Island and Eastern District of New York Gang Task Force for their unwavering commitment to holding gang members accountable and keeping our residents safe. We will continue to combine our resources to rid our communities of gang violence. “
As stated in previous court documents and in statements by the accused during his guilty plea, Argueta-Quintanilla and other members of the MS-13 decided to kill Acosta in 2016 because they suspected he was associated with the rival 18th Street gang. The leader of the sailor clique assigned roles to members who would take the lead in the planning and execution of the murder. On April 29, 2016, Argueta-Quintanilla and other MS-13 members encountered Acosta in a wooded area near an elementary school in Brentwood where he was lured under the pretext of smoking marijuana. Argueta-Quintanilla and the other members of MS-13 brutally beat Acosta with tree branches, causing him to pass out. Then they tied Acosta’s hands and feet, wrapped a piece of clothing around her mouth to keep her from making noise, and summoned other members of the MS-13. Members of MS-13 loaded Acosta into the trunk of a car and proceeded to a more isolated area of ââBrentwood, near an abandoned mental hospital. They took Acosta, who was still alive, from the car and took him into the woods where they stabbed and slashed him to death with a machete. Members of MS-13 buried Acosta’s body in a shallow grave, discovered in September 2016.
In addition, on August 10, 2016, Argueta-Quintanilla and other members of the MS-13 attempted to kill suspected members of rival gangs in Brentwood. Argueta-Quintanilla and another MS-13 member, both armed with handguns, approached a house on Lukens Avenue where suspected rival gang members were standing outside and fired from numerous shots in their direction. No one was hit, but a stray bullet entered a neighbor’s house and hit the headboard of a bed the neighbor was sleeping in. Argueta-Quintanilla also pleaded guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy, admitting that between April 2016 and October 2017, he and other members of the sailor clique conspired to distribute cocaine and marijuana in order to to raise funds for the MS-13.
Today’s conviction is the latest in a series of federal lawsuits initiated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York targeting members of MS-13, a violent transnational criminal organization. The MS-13 leadership is based in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, but the gang has thousands of members across the United States, made up mostly of immigrants from Central America. With many branches, or “cliques,” the MS-13 is Long Island’s most violent criminal organization. Since 2003, hundreds of MS-13 members, including dozens of clique leaders, have been convicted of federal crimes in the Eastern District of New York. The majority of these MS-13 members have been convicted of federal racketeering charges for participating in murders, attempted murders and assaults. Since 2010, this office has obtained indictments accusing members of the MS-13 of having committed more than 60 murders in the eastern district of New York and has convicted dozens of leaders and members of the MS-13 in connection with these murders. . These lawsuits are the product of investigations by the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, which is made up of agents and officers from the FBI, SCPD, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Suffolk County Probation Office, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Hempstead Police Department, Rockville Center Police Department, and New York State Correctional and Community Supervision Service.
The government’s case is handled by the Long Island Criminal Division of the Bureau. The United States Assistant Prosecutors John J. Durham, Paul G. Scotti, Justina L. Geraci and Megan E. Farrell are charged with the prosecution.
NELSON ARGUETA-QUINTANILLA (also known as âMendigoâ)
Age: 24 years old
Brentwood, New York
EDNY File # 16-CR-403 (S-7) (JFB)