New York Officials: Teen Murdered by Illegal Alien MS-13 Gang Members
An accused illegal alien MS-13 gang member, who first arrived in the United States as an Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC) at the southern border, has pleaded guilty to helping murder 18-year-old Bryan Steven Cho Lemus.
Samuel Ponce, an illegal alien from El Salvador, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this week for his role in murdering Lemus in August 2016 allegedly with other MS-13 gang members, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced. Ponce was 15 years old at the time of Lemus’ murder.
“Bryan Lemus was just 18-years-old when he was viciously attacked and violently murdered with machetes by the defendant and multiple MS-13 members,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith said in a statement.
According to prosecutors, Lemus was lured into the Massapequa Preserve in Nassau County by a number of MS-13 gang members, including alleged illegal alien 23-year-old Christian Rodriguez, who has been charged with another murder.
Lemus, prosecutors say, was hacked with machetes by Ponce and others until he was dead and was put into a shallow grave where his body was not found until May 2019.
According to Newsday, Ponce first arrived in the U.S. at the southern border from El Salvador at the age of 13 years old. Ponce was briefly held in federal custody before being released to a sponsor, his father, in Long Island, New York.
Ponce is facing nine years to life in prison for his involvement in Lemus’ murder. His sentencing hearing is set for August 25, 2021.
Other accused MS-13 gang members have been charged with Lemus’ murder. Aside from Ponce and Rodriguez, Jeustin David Maldonado, Raul Ponce, and Gerson Stanley Juarez were indicted last year on murder charges in connection to the case.