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MS-13 gang member pleads guilty to murdering two males in New York

MS-13 gang member, 21, pleads guilty to using 13-year-old girl in plot to lure two men to a New York park with the promise of drugs and underage sex – before they were ambushed and murdered

  • Elmer Gutiérrez accepted culpability for his role in the murders of two men in December 2018
  • The 21-year-old member of the MS-13 pleaded to second-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy during a June 23 court hearing 
  • Gutierrez helped plot but was not present in the December 15, 2018 murder of Ian Cruz at a Far Rockaway park
  • Cruz met a 13-year-old girl to do drugs and have sex at Bayswater Point State Park and was ambushed by four other defendant before he was shot dead
  • On December 17, the same girl helped lure 17-year-old Harold Sermeño to Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence, New York
  • One of the gang members shot Sermeño five times and Gutiérrez sliced his neck with a machete
  • Gutiérrez could spent 20 years to life in prison but the Nassau County District Attorney recommended a 31-year jail sentence

A MS-13 gang member pleaded guilty in connection with the murders of two men, aged 17 and 23, who were lured to a New York park then ambushed and killed.

Elmer Gutiérrez, 21, pleaded to second-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy during court hearing last Wednesday, according to acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith. He is slated to be sentence August 10. 

While Gutiérrez could spend between a  minimum of 20 years to life behind bars, Smith suggested a 31-year prison term.

Gutiérrez and four other defendants, including two teens, plotted to assassinate Ian Cruz, a 23-year-old a resident of the Queens neighborhood of Far Rockaway, because he had reportedly disrespected their gang.

The Nassau County District Attorney said the gang members also had pictures which reportedly showed Cruz showing a lack of respect to the MS-13.  

Elmer Gutiérrez, 21, appeared in court last Wednesday pleaded guilty to his role in the the December 2018 murders of two young male. He conspired – but was not present – for the December 15 assassination of 23-year-old Ian Cruz, who was lured to have sex with a 13-year-old girl in a New York City park. He did participate in the murder of 17-year-old Harold Sermeño on December 17 when he delivered a blow to the victim’s neck with a machete

Bayswater Point State Park in the Queens neighborhood of Far Rockaway was the site of a December 15, 2018 murder of a 23-year-old man who allegedly disrespected members of the MS-13. Authorities have so far convicted two men

Bayswater Point State Park in the Queens neighborhood of Far Rockaway was the site of a December 15, 2018 murder of a 23-year-old man who allegedly disrespected members of the MS-13. Authorities have so far convicted two men

On December 15, 2018, Cruz, was invited to Bayswater Point State Park where he was expecting to receive drugs and have sex with one of the five defendants, a 13-year-old girl.

Co-defendant Yonathan Sánchez, Carlos Guerra, who is now 21, and 15-year-old boy were armed hiding behind the bushed in the park before they ambushed Cruz.

Sánchez used a .22 caliber gun to shoot Cruz four times in the head. The four suspects then tool Cruz’s belongings and fled to a Far Rockaway apartment that Sánchez and Guerra shared.  

Although Gutiérrez helped with plotting Cruz’s killing, he was not present on the night of the murder. 

The next day a park visitor alerted authorities after discovering Cruz’s body over a blanket. 

Sánchez was to 34 years to life in jail in July 2020.  

On December 17, the gang used the same 13-year-old girl to invite 17-year-old Harold Sermeño to Five Towns Community Center in the Nassau town of Lawrence.

Five Towns Community Center in the Nassau (New York) town of Lawrence was the site of a December 17, 2008 murder of 17-year-old Harold Sermeño who was lured by members of the MS-13, including a 13-year-old girl

Five Towns Community Center in the Nassau (New York) town of Lawrence was the site of a December 17, 2008 murder of 17-year-old Harold Sermeño who was lured by members of the MS-13, including a 13-year-old girl

Sermeño and the girl were sitting at a park table drinking and smoking while the other gang members waited nearby. Sánchez approached shot him four times in the head and once in the chest. Gutiérrez then sliced Sermeño’s neck with a machete. 

The five other defendants escaped and hid at the same apartment in Far Rockaway.

Authorities raid the home and recovered the gun and machete that were used in both murders.

The New York Police Department arrested Sánchez, Guerra, Gutiérrez and the two minors on December 20.  A team of agents from the NYPD and the Nassau County Police Department arrested a sixth defendant – a minor – on December 28.

‘This senseless violence has no place in our community, and I thank our partners at the NYPD, NCPD, Queens District Attorney’s Office and FBI Long Island Gang Task Force for helping solve these two murders,” Smith said.

Guerra’s case is still pending as are the cases against an 18-year-old male (who was 15 at the time of the incident) and a 15-year-old girl (who was 15 at the time of the murders. Each defendant was charged with second-degree murder.

A defendant who was 15 at the time of the gang executed the assassinations pled guilty to one count of second degree murder and is looking at 8 1/2 years to life in prison.

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