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Suspected MS-13 gang members face racketeering charges, federal officials say

The accusations stem from a 2016 attack on a Queens youth that left the victim a paraplegic, officials said.

Four suspected MS-13 gang members face charges related

Four suspected MS-13 gang members face charges related to a 2016 Queens attack, federal officials said Friday. Photo Credit: Theodore Parisienne

Four suspected members of the MS-13 gang were hit Friday with federal racketeering charges, including attempted murder and assault, stemming from an attack on a Queens youth in 2016 that left the victim a paraplegic, officials said.

The attack, early Oct. 23, 2016 in Jamaica, Queens, involved the shooting of a reputed member of the rival 18th Street gang who was paralyzed from the neck down, according to detention memorandum filed by prosecutors in Brooklyn federal court.

 MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, whose members are immigrants from Central America, have historically been in bloody conflicts both in their native countries and in the metropolitan area, including Long Island. After the 2016 shooting, one suspect in the case, Melvi Amador-Rios, was overheard in a prison telephone call telling other gang members that “you guys already have the pass, you know, to be homeboys, you know,” an indication that they could become full-fledged members of MS-13, said the government memorandum.

Amador-Rios, 27, was identified in court papers as the suspected leader of the MS-13 clique known as “Centrales Locos Salvatruchas.”  Two other defendants, his brother Santos Amador-Rios, 31, and Yan Carlos Ramirez, 28, were identified by prosecutors as members of the clique while Antonio Salvador, 30, was reputed to be a member of different MS-13 clique known as “Fulton Locos Salvatruchas.”  All the defendants live in Queens, investigators said.

 All of the defendants face charges of  assault, murder conspiracy, attempted murder in-aid-of — racketeering and related firearms offenses. They were scheduled for court appearances late Friday.

In a statement, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said the latest indictment was another in the office’s offensive against Central America gangs in New York City and Long Island, particularly MS-13.  Since 2003, hundreds of MS-13 gang members have been convicted of various federal felony charges, including those involved in more than 45 murders, Donoghue said.

 Some 18th Street gang members also have been targeted for prosecution.  In March, three reputed 18th Street members were charged in Brooklyn federal court with taking a suspected informant to an upstate location where he was murdered, mutilated and buried in a state park.

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