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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 26, 2021

MS-13 Gang Associate Indicted for Murder of 17-Year Old Victim in Kissena Park in Queens

A superseding indictment was returned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn charging Oscar Flores-Mejia, an associate of La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the MS-13, a transnational criminal organization, with murder in-aid-of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in-aid-of racketeering in connection with the April 23, 2018 murder of 17-year-old Andy Peralta in Queens, New York.  Flores-Mejia was arrested on a criminal complaint in February 2021 and ordered detained pending trial.  The defendant will be arraigned at a later date. 

Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York Field Office (HSI), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the superseding indictment.

“After allegedly helping to torture and murder the teenage victim, the defendant leaned over his lifeless body and displayed the MS-13 hand sign, openly revealing his presence at the scene and linking MS-13 to this horrific crime,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko. “This Office and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners will not rest until the senseless brutality and violence of MS-13 has been eliminated and those responsible for the victim’s cruel and cold-blooded murder in Kissena Park have been held to account.” Mr. Lesko expressed his appreciation to the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Department of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation.

“No one deserves to die simply to boost the standing of a gang member. Today’s indictment should serve as the FBI’s continuing sign to other gang members who commit violence in our neighborhoods. We work around the clock, and our connections are global. Behavior like the kind we allege today leads to a federal prison cell. Your stay will be a long one,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

“The heinous details of the Flores-Mejia case and his alleged involvement in the ruthless murder of a teen in 2018 is on par with MS-13’s core values of extreme violence and control,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh. “Transnational criminal street gangs like MS-13 serve only to terrorize our communities and prey upon our most vulnerable youth who are often left with little choice, join the gang or face the consequence. This unfair choice ends one of two ways, jail or death.  In facing this threat, HSI continues to work with its federal and local law enforcement partners to arrest and prosecute those who commit senseless violence while simultaneously working with our communities to offer a better option, a chance for a future.”

“The federal indictment announced today answers for an unspeakably violent crime and sends a message that gangs like La Mara Salvatrucha can never be tolerated. I commend our NYPD detectives, our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for bringing this important case,” stated NYPD Commissioner Shea.

According to court filings, on the evening of April 23, 2018, Peralta was lured to Kissena Park where he was ambushed in a wooded area by Flores-Mejia and two others. Peralta was believed to be a member of the 18th Street gang.  Peralta had a tattoo of a crown on his chest which the defendant mistakenly believed to be a symbol of a rival gang.  Peralta was repeatedly slashed, stabbed, beaten and strangled.  A photograph taken of Peralta’s body depicts Flores-Mejia leaning over the victim and displaying an MS-13 hand sign. 

The charges in the superseding indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, Flores-Mejia faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Today’s charges are the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York targeting members of the MS-13.  The MS-13’s leadership is based in El Salvador and Honduras, but the gang has thousands of members across the United States, comprised primarily of immigrants from Central America.  Since 2003, hundreds of MS-13 members, including dozens of clique leaders, have been convicted on federal felony charges in the Eastern District of New York.  A majority of those MS-13 members have been convicted on federal racketeering charges for participating in murders, attempted murders and assaults.  Since 2010, this Office has obtained indictments charging MS-13 members with carrying out more than 45 murders in the district and has convicted dozens of MS-13 leaders and members in connection with those murders.  These prosecutions are the product of investigations led by our law enforcement partners.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nadia E. Moore and Phil Selden and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kirk Sendlein are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant Charged in the Superseding Indictment:

OSCAR FLORES-MEJIA (also known as “Chamuco”)
Age:  21
Elmhurst, New York

Defendants Previously Indicted:

JUAN AMAYA-RAMIREZ (also known as “Cadaver”)
Age:  23
Fresh Meadows, New York

RAMIRO GUTIERREZ (also known as “Cara de Malo”)
Age:  28
Flushing, New York

VICTOR LOPEZ (also known as “Curioso”)
Age:  22
Flushing, New York

TITO MARTINEZ-ALVARENGA (also known as “Imprudente”)
Age:  21
Flushing, New York

JAIRO MARTINEZ-GARCIA (also known as “Colmillo”)
Age:  22
Flushing, New York

EMERSON MARTINEZ-LARA (also known as “Fugitivo”)
Age:  21
College Point, New York

DOUGLAS MELGAR-SURIANO (also known as “Clemencia”)
Age:  24
Flushing, New York

VICTOR RAMIREZ (also known as “Frijolito”)
Age:  21
Elmhurst, New York

ISMAEL SANTOS-NOVOA (also known as “Profe” and “Travieso”)
Age:  32
Flushing, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket Nos. 20-CR-228 (SJ)

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated March 26, 2021