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MS-13 gang member gets 55 years for connection in murders of four young men

Posted at 1:57 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 13:57:41-04

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island — An MS-13 gang member was sentenced Wednesday in connection to the April 2017 murders of four young men on Long Island.

Josue Portillo, 18, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges back in August 2018 for his participation in the murders of Justin Llivicura, 16; Michael Lopez, 20; Jorge Tigre, 18; and Jefferson Villalobos, 18.

Justin Llivicura, 16, is seen left. Jorge Tigre, 18, is pictured right. (Family/ friends)

Wednesday, Portillo was sentenced to 55 years in prison by a federal judge. After serving his time, Portillo faces deportation back to El Salvador.

Portillo admitted planning the April 2017 killings with other MS-13 defendants because he said they believed the four were rival gang members. The victims were lured to a park and attacked with machetes, knives and clubs.

Portillo, who was under the age of 16 at the time of the murders, was originally charged as a juvenile. He was later transferred to adult status for prosecution.

The string of violence, including the 2016 slayings of two teenage girls in Brentwood, led to congressional hearings and visits to Long Island from both President Donald Trump and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.