CENTRAL ISLIP, NY (AP) — A teenage member of the MS-13 gang pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that she lured a 15-year-old boy to his death in 2019 on Long Island.
Lidia DelCarmen-Rodriguez, 19, pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of complicity in the murder of 15-year-old Jasson Medrano-Molina in Central Islip.
DelCarmen-Rodriguez, who was 16 at the time of Medrano-Molina’s death and initially charged as a minor, will be sentenced in January and face several decades in prison.
A message requesting comment was left with DelCarmen-Rodriguez’s attorney.
According to prosecutors, DelCarmen-Rodriguez lured Medrano-Molina and two other people she and other MS-13 members believed to be rival gang members to a remote forest area in central Islip.
There, prosecutors said, were two other MS-13 members waiting with a .40-caliber handgun and a baseball bat. Medrano-Molina and the others lured into the forest tried to run away, but Medrano-Molina was unable to escape and was shot several times, prosecutors said.
US Attorney Breon Peace called it a “despicable crime” and said it is his “sincere hope that the family of this young victim can find some comfort in knowing that those responsible for this crime have been brought to justice. “
An alleged co-conspirator, Jose Omar Sorto Portillo, pleaded guilty to extortion murder last October for his participation in the murder of Medrano-Molina and is awaiting sentencing.
MS-13, also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, recruits young teens from El Salvador and Honduras, although many gang members were born in the US. The gang has been charged with dozens of murders across much of Long Island since January 2016.
The gang’s influence and violence on Long Island has declined in recent years due to federal crackdown.
Former President Donald Trump made wiping out MS-13 a focus of his administration, visiting Long Island several times to meet with law enforcement officers and the families of the gang’s victims.
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