Former Long Island MS-13 gang leader sentenced for racketeering, firearms charges

Long Island

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A former leader of the MS-13 gang on Long Island was sentenced to prison in federal court Tuesday.

Ronald Catalan, 30, was sentenced to 25 years in prison following his guilty plea to racketeering charges, including acts relating to a June 2009 Brentwood shooting and an October 2015 Bay Shore shooting that left three people wounded, authorities said.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana as predicate racketeering acts and illegally using firearms with crimes of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Catalan had been the leader of the Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas (BLS) clique of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, from 2015 until his federal arrest in 2017, officials said.

In 2009, Catalan and two other MS-13 members drove through Brentwood armed, looking for rival gang members to attack and kill in an attempt to increase their status in the gang, according to officials. They had found a group of men believed to be Bloods gang members and shot at them, striking one as he tried to run. He survived the attack.

Catalan also admitted to participating in the attempted murders of two men in North Bay Shore in 2015, authorities said. He also admitted he and other members conspired to distribute cocaine and marijuana to help finance the MS-13’s operations between January 2015 and February 2016. 

Catalan was among the 17 gang members arrested in July 2017 in connection to the violent spree of killings and assaults on Long Island. 

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