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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

MS-13 Gang Members Charged with 2015 Murder in Brentwood

Bystander Was Shot to Death and Another Victim Severely Wounded During Brazen and Unprovoked Attack

A two-count indictment was unsealed earlier today in federal court in Central Islip charging three members of La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the MS-13, Roberto Antonio Abrego-Reyes, also known as “Splinter” and “Impaciente,” Miguel Angel Alfaro-Santos, also known as “Asesino,” and Jose Benedicto Baires-Novoa, also known as “Macabro,” with the murder of 24-year-old Kenneth Evans, Jr in Brentwood, New York on November 28, 2015. 

Baires-Novoa, who is a member of the Guanacos Lil Cycos Salvatruchas (Guanacos) clique of the MS-13, was arrested in Brentwood, New York on November 7, 2022 by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Long Island Gang Task Force (FBI LIGTF) and was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge James M. Wicks earlier this afternoon.   Baires-Novoa was ordered detained pending trial.  Additionally, earlier today, Alfaro-Santos, who is also a member of the Guanacos clique of the MS-13, appeared in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and was ordered removed to the Eastern District of New York to face charges.  The third defendant, Abrego-Reyes, a member of the Indios Locos Salvatruchas (ILS) clique of the MS-13, is presently in state custody at the Nassau County Correctional Center and will be transferred to federal custody and arraigned at a later date.                         

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) and Rodney K. Harrison, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the charges.

“With these arrests, we are holding the defendants accountable for senselessly shooting two innocent bystanders, striking one in the head and killing the other, leaving fear and grief in their wake,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This should serve as a warning, that there is no amount of time that will stop this Office from pursuing justice to keep our communities safe.” 

United States Attorney Peace expressed his appreciation to the members of the FBI LIGTF, as well as to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, for their partnership in this case.   

“The senseless and gruesome acts committed in the name of MS-13 are hard to comprehend,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said. “This department, along with our law enforcement partners, will never stop pursuing justice for those killed at hands of gang members. Even though seven years have passed since this murder, investigators never gave up.”

"MS-13 raises the specter of violence for communities that have experienced the terror members leave in their wake. Our work has slowed and even stopped their criminal and deadly activity; however, we could see a resurgence if we get complacent. The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and our law enforcement partners are continuing the work and maintaining our outreach with the public to thwart this ever-present threat," stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.

According to court filings, on the evening of November 28, 2015, Abrego-Reyes, Alfaro-Santos and Baires-Novoa agreed with other MS-13 members to “put in work” for the gang – that is, to go out hunting for rival gang members to target and kill.  The MS-13 members armed themselves with a .38 caliber handgun and a 9mm handgun, and drove around the Brentwood area looking for potential targets.  While driving in the vicinity of Gibson Avenue in Brentwood, the three defendants and their fellow MS-13 co-conspirators observed three males, one of whom was Evans, walking along the street.  Although the three males were not personally known to the MS-13 members, they were wrongly presumed to be members of a rival gang and were immediately targeted. 

Alfaro-Santos and another MS-13 member, who were each armed with a handgun, got out of the car and approached the victims, while Abrego-Reyes, who was driving the vehicle, Baires-Novoa, and another MS-13 member remained in close proximity, watching for police presence in the area and waiting to drive the shooters away from the scene.  Alfaro-Santos and the other MS-13 member walked just behind the three victims and began shooting.  Evans was struck multiple times and died from his wounds.  A second victim was shot in the head but survived the attack.  The third man escaped injury.  Following the shooting, the MS-13 members in the car picked up the two shooters, and all fled the scene. 

If convicted, each defendant faces mandatory life in prison or the possibility of the death penalty. 

This indictment is 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, a violent, transnational criminal organization.  The MS-13’s leadership is based in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, but the gang has thousands of members across the United States.  With numerous branches, or “cliques,” the MS-13 is the most violent criminal organization on Long Island.  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 60 murders in the Eastern District of New York, resulting in the convictions of dozens of MS-13 leaders and members in connection with those murders.  These prosecutions are the product of investigations led by the FBI LIGTF, which is comprised of agents and officers of the FBI, SCPD, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Suffolk County Probation Office, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Hempstead Police Department, the Rockville Centre Police Department and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Paul G. Scotti, Justina L. Geraci and Megan E. Farrell are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

ROBERTO ANTONIO ABREGO-REYES (“Splinter” and “Impaciente”)
Age: 28
Flushing and Hempstead, NY

MIGUEL ANGEL ALFARO-SANTOS (“Asesino”)
Age: 26
Flushing, NY

JOSE BENEDICTO BAIRES-NOVOA (“Macabro”)
Age: 26
Flushing and Brentwood, NY

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-499 (JMA)

Attachment(s): 
Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
John Marzulli Danielle Blustein Hass United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated November 9, 2022