Two MS-13 Gang Leaders Convicted of Murder
Defendants Killed Innocent Young Man in Case of Mistaken Identity
Oscar Fuentes, leader of the New York State chapters of the international MS-13 street gang, also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, and Julio Chavez, a leader of the Huntington, New York, chapter of MS-13, were convicted today of murder in-aid-of racketeering and other charges before United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Specifically, a jury convicted both men of committing the May 2007 murder of 21-year-old Maurice Parker in Flushing, New York, and using a firearm in furtherance of the murder. Fuentes was also convicted of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. The defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The convictions were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York Field Office, and the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
The evidence at trial established that, in the early morning hours of May 18, 2007, the defendants and other MS-13 gang members drove through the streets of Flushing, New York, armed with a gun and looking to shoot rival gang members. At approximately half past midnight, they saw two young men, Maurice Parker and his friend, standing outside a store at 41-80 Bowne Street. Parker’s friend was wearing a red sweatshirt – a color often worn by members of the rival Bloods street gang. Chavez and a second gang member jumped from the vehicle driven by Fuentes, ran up to the two men, and Chavez shot Maurice Parker six times, including three shots to the head. Maurice Parker died at the scene.
MS-13 is a violent international street gang comprised primarily of immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. With hundreds of members locally, MS-13 is the largest street gang on Long Island and has a presence in Queens, New York. Over the past five years, investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office, HSI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the NYPD have solved multiple murders on Long Island and in New York City resulting in felony convictions of more than 120 MS-13 leaders and soldiers.
“Today’s verdicts should remind street gangs of the dire consequences of committing acts of violence in this district,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “While we can only hope that the verdicts will provide some measure of closure to the family of a young man killed indiscriminately, the convictions have ensured that the defendants will never again walk the streets of our city.”
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jason A. Jones, Ali Kazemi, and Shreve Ariail.
Name: OSCAR FUENTES, also known as “Taz,”
Name: JULIO CHAVEZ, also known as “Flecha” and “Flechita”
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