MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that two convicted MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) members were sentenced today to 50 years to life in prison for a fatal shooting in Hempstead in March 2017.
Carlos Flores, 26, of Hempstead and Pedro Rivera, 25, undomiciled, were convicted by a jury in front of Judge Terence Murphy on August 12 of:
- Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony)
- Conspiracy in the First Degree (an A-I felony)
- Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C violent felony)
“These MS-13 members murdered an innocent man in cold blood to settle a perceived gang score, and they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for this depraved crime,” DA Singas said. “We’ve made great strides in our fight against MS-13 by locking up predators like these, and I commend our law enforcement partners for their relentless efforts to rid our communities of gang members who have terrorized our immigrant communities.”
DA Singas said that on March 20, 2017, the defendants acting in concert with each other and others – drove from Hempstead to Uniondale looking for a member of the rival 14th Street gang to shoot and kill in retaliation for an assault on an MS-13 member.
The group circled the area several times searching for a member of the 14th Street gang. Eventually, the group spotted the victim, 39-year-old Nelson Rodriguez, of Hempstead, who was walking home from his job in an auto body shop westbound on Front Street. Though Rodriguez was not a member of the 14th Street gang, Flores ordered Rivera – who was armed with a gun – to kill the victim because he was a perceived enemy of MS-13.
Rivera exited the vehicle and began walking on Front Street towards the victim. Rivera passed the victim and then turned around and shot Rodriguez once in the head. After he fell to the ground, Rivera shot him again in the back.
Multiple witnesses immediately called 911 and the victim was transported to Nassau County University Medical Center where he later died. Following an extensive investigation, Rivera was arrested on July 18, 2017 and Flores was arrested October 19, 2018 by members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad.
Co-defendant Hector Lazo’s case is pending sentence.
The NCDA thanks Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, NCPD Homicide Squad, NCPD Third Precinct and the Social Security Administration for their assistance in this case.
Assistant District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt, Deputy Chief of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hernan of DA Singas’ County Court Trial Bureau are prosecuting this case. Rivera is represented by John Healy, Esq. and Flores is represented by Greg Madey, Esq.