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Posted on: November 7, 2019

Two Alleged MS-13 Members Indicted; Five Others Face Additional Charges in Connection to 2017 Murder

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that seven alleged MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) members were arraigned on an indictment for their alleged roles in a January 2017 murder in the Massapequa Preserve.

DA Singas said that according to the indictment, in January 2017, the seven defendants allegedly conspired to murder 19-year-old Julio Cesar Espantzay, a perceived enemy of MS-13.

According to the indictment, defendant Granados-Coreas told co-defendants Abrego-Reyes, Portillo and Cullal that Espantzay was an enemy of the gang. They then allegedly lured Espantzay to the Massapequa Preserve on January 28 by telling him that he would have sex in the park and that they would smoke marijuana. To lure him to the preserve, one of the gang members allegedly pretended to befriend him.

Once they were in the preserve, Granados-Coreas, Cullal, Ponce and Juarez allegedly hacked Espantzay to death with a machete. They later alleged;ly disposed of the body under tree branches, leaves, and other brush.

The indictment alleges that Abrego-Reyes directed Granados-Coreas and Cullal to commit the murder and ordered Campos to drive the car with all the defendants inside to the preserve. 

Espantzay’s body was discovered in March 23, 2017 by a man walking his dog in the preserve.

Portillo, Granados-Coreas, Cullal, Abrego-Reyes and Campos were all previously indicted for Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony) for their roles in the murder.

“These defendants lured a 19-year-old into the woods and hacked him to death because they believed him to be an enemy of MS-13,” DA Singas said. “Thanks to law enforcement collaboration, MS-13 is on the run in Nassau, and we will ensure these alleged violent murderers are held accountable for this horrific crime.”

Raul Ponce, aka Shadow and Little Shadow, 21, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 8 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged with Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I violent felony) and Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court December 13. He faces a maximum of 50 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

Gerson Stanley Juarez, aka Angel Black, 23, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 8 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged with Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I violent felony) and Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court December 13. He faces a maximum of 50 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

Carlos Portillo, aka Pikachu, 24, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 7 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 20. He faces a maximum of five to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Kevin Granados-Coreas, aka Lonely, 21, of Rosedale, Queens, was arraigned October 16 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 20. He faces a maximum of five to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Antonio Cullal, aka Duke, 25, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 8 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 20. He faces a maximum of five to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Roberto Abrego-Reyes aka Splinter, 25, of Hempstead, was arraigned November 4 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 20. He faces a maximum of five to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Laura Campos, aka Salvi, 30, of Maryland, was arraigned October 28 before Judge Teresa Corrigan and charged Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 20. She faces a maximum of five to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Deputy Bureau Chief Jared Rosenblatt of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting this case with Deputy Bureau Chief Katie Zizza and Senior Assistant District Attorney Christopher Casa of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau. Ponce is represented by David Haber, Esq., Stanley Juarez is represented by Greg Madey, Esq., Portillo is represented by Joe Lopiccolo, Esq., Granados-Coreas is represented by Martin Goldberg, Esq., Cullal is represented by William Shanahan, Esq., Abrego-Reyes is represented by Jeff Groder, Esq. and Campos is represented by Toni Marie Angeli, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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