MS-13 Member Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for 2017 Murders of Four Young Men with Machetes, Knives, Clubs and an Axe
After Committing Murders in a Central Islip Park, Defendant Fled to Virginia and Maryland Where He Continued His Membership in the MS-13
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Freiry Martinez, also known as “Discreto” and “Sovietico,” a member of the Herndon City Locos Salvatruchas clique of La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the MS-13, was sentenced by United States Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco to 50 years’ imprisonment, following his guilty plea to racketeering charges for his participation in the April 11, 2017 murders of Justin Llivicura, Michael Lopez, Jorge Tigre and Jefferson Villalobos. Upon completion of his sentence, Martinez, an illegal alien from El Salvador, faces deportation from the United States.
Richard P. Donoghue, 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), Geraldine Hart, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), and Patrick J. Ryder, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), announced the sentence.
“It is my hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of closure and a sense of justice for the family members of the four victims, whose young lives were senselessly cut short by Martinez and his fellow MS-13 members,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office, along with our fellow law enforcement partners, will relentlessly pursue gang members who commit depraved acts of violence on behalf of the MS-13 gang, and who foolishly think that fleeing the jurisdiction will place them out of our reach. Today’s sentence clearly proves otherwise.”
“This sentence illustrates our determination to bring these cold blooded killers to justice, and show the local communities we're on their side,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force continues to use its global reach to find those who try to escape justice, and stop more violence from happening.”
“After committing four brutal murders, Martinez fled the jurisdiction in an attempt to evade justice,” stated SCPD Commissioner Hart. “Thanks to the strong partnership between both law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office his freedom was short lived. We hope that this sentence sends a clear message, to both gang members and their associates that we will not rest until justice is served. This sentencing is another example of our unwavering commitment to dismantle MS-13 in Suffolk County.”
“Today’s sentence of defendant Freiry Martinez is a clear example of law enforcement interagency cooperation and how there are no boundaries in criminal activity. Our partnerships continue to combat crime as we maintain our zero tolerance approach toward gangs and their illegal activities to ensure safety for our residents and communities. I would like to congratulate all of the investigators and their agencies for their hard work and dedication in bringing defendant Martinez to justice,” stated NCPD Commissioner Ryder.
On the evening of April 11, 2017, two female associates of the MS-13 lured five young men, including the four victims, to a community park in Central Islip so that Martinez and other MS-13 members could attack and kill them. The victims were believed to be members of a rival gang who had offended the MS-13. Martinez and numerous other MS-13 members and associates met in the park where they distributed weapons and discussed the plan to kill the victims. Once the female MS-13 associates led the men to a wooded area, Martinez and the other MS-13 members and associates surrounded, attacked and killed Llivicura, Lopez, Tigre and Villalobos, using machetes, knives, wooden clubs and an axe. The fifth intended victim escaped. The victims’ bodies were discovered the following evening.
Several days after committing the April 11, 2017 murders, Martinez fled New York with the assistance of other MS-13 members from New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. After relocating to Virginia and later Maryland, Martinez continued his MS-13 involvement by associating with MS-13 members from those areas, engaging in street-level drug sales, assaulting rival gang members, and participating in the armed robberies of check-cashing establishments. Martinez was a fugitive for more than seven months after the murders until he was located and arrested in Maryland on November 21, 2017. Thereafter, Martinez was removed from the District of Maryland to the Eastern District of New York to face the instant charges.
Martinez was under 16 years of age at the time of the murders and he was initially charged by a juvenile information. Thereafter, the government filed a motion to transfer him to adult status for prosecution and Martinez waived a transfer hearing, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to racketeering, including predicate racketeering acts relating to the murders of Llivicura, Lopez, Tigre and Villalobos.
Today’s sentencing 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 international criminal organization. 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. With numerous branches, or “cliques,” the MS-13 is the largest and most violent street gang 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 of 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 Eastern District of New York, and has convicted dozens of MS-13 leaders and members in connection with those murders. These prosecutions are the product of investigations led by the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the FBI, SCPD, NCPD, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Suffolk County Probation, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Rockville Centre Police Department, New York State Police, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys John J. Durham, Paul G. Scotti, Justina L. Geraci and Michael T. Keilty are in charge of the prosecution.
FREIRY MARTINEZ (also known as “Discreto” and “Sovietico”)
Brentwood, New York; Fairfax/Arlington Counties, Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-364 (S-1)(JFB)