(CNSNews.com) -- Freiry Martinez, a.k.a. Discreto and Sovietico, an illegal alien from El Salvador and member of the notorious MS-13 gang, pleaded guilty on Sept. 21 to participating in the murder of four men in a park in Long Island, New York on April 11, 2017, reported the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Martinez was 15 when the murders occurred. As explained by the U.S. Attorney's office, two female MS-13 associates lured four men to a community park in Central Islip because Martinez and other MS-13 members planned to kill the men, who apparently were members of a rival gang and had shown disrespect to MS-13.
The four murder victims were Justin Llivicura, Michael Lopez, Jorge Tigre and Jefferson Villalobos.
"Martinez and several MS-13 members and associates met in a wooded area behind the park [on April 11, 2017] where they distributed weapons, discussed the plan to kill the victims and then awaited their arrival," stated the U.S. Attorney's Office in a statement. "Once the female MS-13 associates arrived at the park, they led the victims to a wooded area and sent the MS-13 members a text message describing their location.
"Pursuant to their previously devised plan, Martinez and the other MS-13 members and associates surrounded the victims and killed Llivicura, Lopez, Tigre and Villalobos using machetes, knives and wooden clubs," reads the statement. "The fifth intended victim escaped. After the attack, Martinez and his associates dragged the victims’ bodies to a more secluded spot and fled. The victims’ bodies were discovered the following evening."
Martinez fled from New York after the murders, first traveling to Virginia and then to Maryland, where he was captured on Nov. 21, 2017. He was turned over to the FBI and they returned him to the Eastern District of New York.
“This guilty plea is a result of the dedicated work and collaboration of the Suffolk County Police Department, the Long Island Gang Task Force and the Eastern District,” stated SCPD Commissioner Hart in the statement. “We applaud the effort of prosecutors to ensure that Martinez would be tried as an adult to face the stiffest penalties possible. The deaths of these four young men committed at the hands of MS-13 gang members is incomprehensible and we hope today’s plea will send a clear message to gang members that we will not waver or tire from our commitment to dismantle gangs in Suffolk County."
"It is our hope that holding these perpetrators accountable will bring some measure of comfort and healing to the victims’ friends and families," said Commissioner Hart.
“Prosecution by prosecution, defendant by defendant, we are dismantling the MS-13 through an effort that will not end until they are ended,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
“Due to the exceptional work by all of the law enforcement investigators involved and their agencies, Defendant Freiry Martinez will not be able to terrorize our communities and residents any longer,” stated NCPD Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder. “We have four families that have lost loved ones to the hands of MS-13 in these brutal and senseless killings. Rest assured, we will continue to engage this violence with our zero tolerance approach and will continue to remove these offenders from our streets.”
MS-13 is a notoriously violent gang that started in Los Angeles but quickly recruited numerous members from El Salvdor. Its presence is widespread throughout the United States and in El Salvador. MS-13 is known for using extreme violence to carry out its criminal activities -- drug dealing, sex trafficking, extortion -- and using brutal measures to eliminate its rivals and perceived enemies.
The White House has described MS-13 members as "animals."
When Freiry Martinez is sentenced, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. "Upon completion of his sentence, he faces deportation from the United States," said the U.S. Attorney's Office.