Nassau PBA chief: More detectives needed to eradicate MS-13

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MASSAPEQUA -

The leader of the Nassau PBA is calling for more to be done to keep the community and county officers safe from MS-13 violence.

It comes after police uncovered on Friday the badly decomposed remains of a mutilated body that is believed to be linked to an MS-13 slaying. They believe it had been in Massapequa Preserve for over two years and was linked to an MS-13 gang war.

 Nassau PBA President James McDermott was joined by other community leaders for a news conference Sunday morning. He says he's concerned there are not enough detectives in the gang unit to eradicate the problem of MS-13 gang violence, potentially putting officers' and residents' safety at risk.

And he says it's all while the union has been working without a contract for a year and a half.

 “Our gang unit is undermanned and not provided with the necessary resources to deal with this threat,” he says.

 Nassau County police say the gang unit is about 40 to 50 detectives short, but say they are working with the county executive to remedy the situation.

McDermott says Nassau County and the police commissioner need to hire at least 60 new detectives to investigate gang violence.

 “This is Nassau County. People come to expect a level of safety, and worrying about dollars and cents that's putting the public at risk,” says McDermott.

 Despite the shortfall, Nassau police say they made more than 335 arrests of gang members and saw crime reduce by 30% over the last 10 years.

 Another body linked to MS-13 had been found at the Massapequa Preserve back in January of 2017, identified as 18-year-old Julio Espantzay-Gonzalez. Five reputed MS-13 members have been charged in Espantzay-Gonzalez's death.

Police say that investigation led them to believe there was a second body at the preserve, and say they returned many times to search. They say the body found Friday was about 100 feet away from Espantzay-Gonzalez's remains.

MORE COVERAGE: Police find human remains in Massapequa Preserve 
Prosecutors: MS-13 member killed classmate who wouldn't hang out with him 
Newsday: MS-13 murders down on LI, but gang is trying to regroup 

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