BRENTWOOD, Long Island — Three reputed members of the notorious MS-13 gang and two suspected associates have been arrested as they tried to kidnap a 16-year-old boy on Long Island, police in Suffolk County said.
All five will be charged with second-degree conspiracy, police said.
Police first received complaints from the community Tuesday when residents say they saw three to four Hispanic males in a van approaching young boys and harassing them.
“In two of those incidents, the perpetrators assaulted the individual with a bat in one incident hitting the individual in the arm with a bat and in another incident hitting the individual in the leg," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said.
On Wednesday, detectives were sent to the same area and witnesses what they believe were the suspects attempting to coerce the individual on the street into the van. The detectives intervened they realized their descriptions matched those of the previous incident.
Sini said that as a result of receiving the information, those detectives foiled a possible murder plot.
Lilliana Villaneuva, 17; Jorge Bermudez Cedillos, 18; Miguel Rivera, 20; Vidal Contrera- Ortiz, 18; Oscar Fuentes 18; were all taken into custody.
MS-13 is an international gang linked to several deaths on Long Island, including those of teens.
Last year, gang members allegedly tried to kidnap high-school student Kayla Cuevas. Her friend Nisa Mickens tried to fight off the kidnappers and both teens were killed.
MS-13 members aggressively recruit children while they're still in school, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas previously said. They surround the child they plan to recruit, threaten the child and demand they join the gang.