Detectives: Arrested MS-13 gang member lured victim to woods before slaying
An admitted MS-13 gang member was arraigned on second-degree murder charges Thursday in connection to the body of a male teen found in a shallow grave near a Nassau private school.
Authorities say Carlos Benitez-Hernandez, 21, of Uniondale, was one of at least five MS-13 gang members that lured the teen into a wooded area in August 2017 under a false sense of security near Kellenberg Memorial High School in East Meadow.
Once there, detectives say the victim was stabbed, slashed and hacked to death – then buried in a hole 1 1/2 feet deep.
The case marks the 27th MS-13-related killing on Long Island since January 2016.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says police and federal authorities found the location through “information that was received.”
Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick says that five people involved with the killing are already in custody, but would not say where. Detectives also said they believe they know who the victim is and why he was targeted.
The victim’s identity has not yet been disclosed, pending the results of a DNA test.
Detectives say Benitez-Hernandez has a violent history that includes weapons, gang assault and intimidating a victim charges. He had already served a three-year sentence and was out on parole at the time of the East Meadow killing.
He was arrested by immigration officials earlier this week and is illegally in the country.
Benitez-Hernandez was remanded without bail after his arraignment in Mineola.