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Posted on: August 31, 2021

MS-13 Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Two Teenagers

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Kevin Lopez-Morales participated in murders of Josue Amaya Leonor in 2016 and Angel Soler in 2017

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith announced that an MS-13 member was sentenced today to 24 years to life in prison for helping plan and participating in two gang-related murders in 2016 and 2017. 

Kevin Lopez-Morales, 23, from Roosevelt, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the second degree (an A-I felony) on September 9, 2019. Today, the defendant was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison by Judge Patricia Harrington. 

“Kevin Lopez-Morales and his co-defendants acted as friends to two young men but lured them to their deaths over perceived slights to MS-13,” Acting DA Smith said. “MS-13 has left behind many grieving families on Long Island, but their attempts to destroy our community have not and will not be successful. We continue to spend any and all necessary resources to eliminate this vicious and unthinkable gang violence in our communities. We thank our partners in the NCPD, DEA, and Homeland Security for helping us bring justice to the families of Josue Amaya Leonor and Angel Soler.” 

Acting DA Smith said that on September 4, 2016, Lopez-Morales, acting with others, struck Josue Amaya Leonor with a machete multiple times, killing him. The defendants buried Leonor’s body, which was recovered in May 2018, in a wooded area of the Roosevelt Preserve. Leonor was 19 years old. 

Lopez-Morales, acting with others, murdered 15-year old Angel Soler on July 21, 2017. The victim’s body was mutilated – bearing injuries consistent with the use of a machete – and he suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Soler was left buried until his remains were discovered under cement on October 19, 2017, in a remote wooded area in Roosevelt, just south of the Southern State Parkway. 

Both victims were allegedly murdered because they were perceived to be enemies of MS-13. 

Lopez-Morales was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department on September 6, 2018. 

The cases against Lopez-Morales’ co-defendants in the Leonor murder are pending. 

In the Soler murder, co-defendant David Sosa-Guevera a/k/a Risky was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison, Victor Lopez a/k/a Persa was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison; and Dennis Lopez a/k/a Maliente was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison. 

The NCDA thanks the Nassau County Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their assistance in this case. 

The case was prosecuted by Chief Jared Rosenblatt of the Homicide Bureau. Lopez-Morales is represented by Michael Elbert, Esq.

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