Territory “marked” by Mara Salvatrucha.
Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion
Elmer Gutiérrez, a well-known member of the MS-13 street gang nicknamed “Revolver”, pleaded guilty to participating in the brutal murder of two young men in December 2018 in Far Rockaway (Queens) and Lawrence (Long Island).
Gutierrez, a 21-year-old Valley Stream resident, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy charges Wednesday. He will be sentenced on August 10. The prison sentence is expected to be 20 years to life in prison. The Nassau County prosecutor’s office recommended a minimum sentence of 31 years.
“Elmer Gutiérrez and his co-defendants methodically planned the murder of Ian Cruz for allegedly disrespect the MS-13 ″Acting District Attorney Joyce Smith said in a press release. “Just two days later, Gutiérrez cut his neck Harold Sermeño, 17, with a machete, after the victim was shot several times. This senseless violence has no place in our community, and I thank our partners at NYPD, NCPD (Nassau County Police), the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the fbi Long Island Gang Task Force, for helping solve these two murders. “
On December 15, 2018, Cruz, a 23-year-old Far Rockaway resident considered an enemy of MS-13, was lured to Bayswater Point Park in Far Rockaway, with the promise of drugs and sex.
Cruz would have been seduced by a young woman who was then 13 years old and then he walked into the park, while Yonathan Sánchez, Carlos Guerra and allegedly a 15-year-old teenager were hiding in the park, armed with knives. Sánchez came out of the bushes and shot Cruz four times in the head with a revolver 22 gauge, according to the prosecution.
The attackers took Cruz’s belongings and fled to an apartment on Nameoke St in Far Rockaway, where Sánchez and Guerra lived. Gutiérrez helped plan Cruz’s murder, but was unable to be there the night of the crime, authorities said.
Cruz was found by a visitor to the park the next day, in his underwear and on top of a blanket. Two days later, Sermeño (17) was lured to the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence. There, he and the same 13-year-old girl came to a park and they started drinking and smoking at a picnic table. At that moment, Sánchez emerged and shot Sermeño four times in the head and once in the chest. Gutiérrez then also cut the victim’s neck with a machete. Sermeño was found the next morning by a person walking a dog.
Sánchez, 25, was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in July 2020. The case against Guerra (21) is pending, the Long Island Herald reported.
Long Island, an area neighboring NYC, is one of the areas with the highest presence of MS-13 in the United States, where they are attributed dozens of murders and disappearances. The group is associated with recruit young people, mostly of Latino origin.
In late May, the home of a young Hispanic NYPD police officer was gunned down early in the morning in Brentwood by suspected MS-13 gang members linked to her sister’s boyfriend.
An MS-13 member has admitted to helping plan a 2018 slaying in Queens before wielding a machete in an attack that left a teenager dead in Nassau days later, authorities said. https://t.co/e5tJ0gLJuD
– Newsday (@Newsday) June 24, 2021