Detective on MS-13 gang member in court today: 'He was basically in plain sight'

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A suspected MS-13 gang member charged in connection with a machete slaying stood before a judge today.

Prosecutors say Luis Alejandro Varela is the sixth and final defendant to be arrested and now charged for the August 2017 murder of a man whose body was found buried in the sump in East Meadow off the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Police say he and five other members of MS-13 killed 22-year-old Carlos Rivas Majano. His body was found in 2018.

"We allege they lured Majano into the woods near the Meadowbrook Parkway and Glenn Curtis Boulevard, where he was brutally hacked and murdered with machetes," says Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas.

Majano's body was found in a sump near the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Police say Majano was also a member of MS-13 who was suspected of violating gang rules. Sources have said the gang believed Majano was cooperating with law enforcement.

Varela's court-appointed attorney said he has no prior criminal history. He was held without bail on the murder charge.

Varela and the five others were indicted in November, but Varela wasn't arrested until last week when police say he went to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in Holtsville to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Police then flagged his name and arrested him. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

"It was difficult because we didn't have an active photo of him outside of social media. If you see his photo, he's a very clean cut, well-groomed young man, he was basically in plain sight," says Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Monday's court appearance was a procedural hearing for prosecutors to hand over evidence to the defense attorney.

Varela remains in prison.

Suspected MS-13 gang member accused in machete death due in court Monday
Alleged MS-13 gang member pleads not guilty to 2017 second-degree murder charge
Police: Man found buried in East Meadow was MS-13 gang member
6 suspected MS-13 members indicted in 2017 slaying 

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