Police: 2 MS-13 members befriended, then killed Massapequa Preserve victim

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MASSAPEQUA -

Two alleged members of MS-13 have been charged in the murder of a Valley Stream teen found stabbed to death in the Massapequa Preserve.

The body of Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay, 19, was found in the preserve back in March, but police say he was killed on Jan. 28 after being lured by members of the gang. 

Carlos Portillo, 22, of Hempstead, and Kevin Granados-Coreas, 19, of Queens, were arrested and charged with murder. According to police, both suspects lured Gonzales-Espantzay to the preserve with promises of marijuana and sexual favors from girls.

Gonzales-Espantzay was identified by his DNA after police released a sketch looking for help in identifying him. Police say he is not a member of MS-13. 

Detectives say the two suspects intentionally befriended Gonzales-Espantzay around Christmastime in Valley Stream with the sole purpose of killing him later.

"Commonly, they pick a victim to move up in stature within MS-13. We believe that is the case," says Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick. 

Nassau detectives say they do believe other members of MS-13 were involved in this murder. Police say they made these arrests in part after getting a tip from the NYPD that they had someone with information about the murder. In the last 18 months, there have been four confirmed MS-13 murders in Nassau County and 17 in Suffolk.

Portillo was arraigned two weeks ago on second-degree murder charges. Grandaos-Coreas was arraigned Wednesday morning. Both were remanded without bail.

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