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Press Release

MS-13 Gang Leader Sentenced To 30 Years’ Incarceration

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Participated In The Murder Of An Innocent Bystander And Attempted Murder Of A 13-Year-Old Boy

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Hector Aleman Lemos, the former leader of the Flushing, Queens, chapter of the violent international gang La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as “MS-13,” was sentenced to 30 years in prison following his March 7, 2013, guilty plea to racketeering and murder conspiracy.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, who also imposed a term of supervised release of 3 years.  As a consequence of his conviction, Lemos, a citizen of El Salvador, is also subject to potential deportation at the conclusion of the prison term.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York Field Office; Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department, and Charles Gardner, Commissioner, City of Yonkers Police Department.

“As a member and leader of MS-13, Lemos spread death and destruction throughout his community.  No one in his orbit was safe from the violence that accompanied him, including an innocent bystander who paid with his life for nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a 13-year-old boy who thankfully survived his encounter with Lemos.  Today, Lemos received the significant jail term called for by his actions, which will bring justice to the gang’s victims and their families,” said United States Attorney Lynch.  “Today’s sentence represents a clear warning to the gang that we will continue to vigorously prosecute its members and work to dismantle its operations in this District.”  Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the New York City Police Department, and the City of Yonkers Police Department.

Lemos, known in the gang as “Diablito,” was the leader of the Flushing chapter of the gang, which committed a series of violent crimes, including murder, murder conspiracy and attempted murder, in Flushing, Queens and elsewhere.  Among other crimes, Lemos was charged with shooting a 25-year-old man named John Halley in Yonkers, New York, who he believed, incorrectly, was a member of a rival gang.  In pleading guilty, Lemos admitted that he was a member of MS-13 and that he had participated in the murder of Halley, as well as in the shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Flushing.  

Since 2002, more than 200 MS-13 members, including more than two dozen clique leaders, have been convicted on federal felony charges in the Eastern District of New York.  More than 100 of those MS-13 members have been convicted on federal racketeering charges.  MS-13 is a violent, transnational gang, based in El Salvador, which has engaged in narcotics trafficking, robbery, extortion, murder and other crimes in cities throughout the United States and Central America.  The gang has had a strong presence in immigrant communities in Queens and Long Island.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gina M. Parlovecchio and Darren A. LaVerne.

The Defendant

HECTOR ALEMAN LEMOS, also known as “Diablito”
Age: 32

Updated July 2, 2015