A criminal alien leader of an international organized crime group will be locked up for the rest of his life according to a federal judge in a New York City suburb on Monday.
The 26-year-old head of the Coronados clique of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang, Heriberto Martinez, also known as “Boxer,” was sentenced to life in prison in a Nassau County, N.Y., federal courtroom on Monday for crimes that included shooting a mother and her toddler.
Martinez and a co-defendant, MS-13 member Carlos Ortega, also known as “Silencio,” were convicted on March 21, 2013, following a six-week trial, on all 21 counts of the indictment, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, murder, assault with deadly weapons, and related firearms and conspiracy charges, according to the FBI.
Ortega, 28, was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 21, 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Heriberto Martinez placed less value on human lives than he did on enforcing the barbaric rules of the MS-13 and, as a leader of the MS-13, making sure other gang members were doing the same. In keeping with those twisted rules, during a six-week period in early 2010, Martinez authorized the execution of a young mother, whom he believed had disrespected the gang, ordered the execution of a [private security] officer for doing his job, and he [executed] a fellow MS-13 member who refused to commit senseless, violent crimes,” stated U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
“The jury’s verdict earlier this year and today’s sentence demonstrate that the brutal and senseless violence committed by Martinez and his fellow MS-13 members will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted tenaciously,” said Lynch.
Among Martinez's numerous felonies, he was convicted with the execution-style murder of 23-year-old Nestor Moreno, a security officer employed at El Rancho Bar and Grill in Hempstead, N.Y., on March 6, 2010.
In late February 2010, Martinez and several of his MS-13 underlings were involved in a dispute with El Rancho staff members over an unpaid bar tab. The dispute escalated into a physical altercation during which Martinez was pepper sprayed by the guard. before exiting El Rancho, Martinez identified himself as an MS-13 member to the victim and told him, “It’s not going to end like this.”
On March 6, 2010, Martinez, along with four co-conspirators, returned to El Rancho and carried out that threat, shooting Moreno in the head at point-blank range. The gun used to kill Moreno was the same semi-automatic handgun used to kill a mother and her toddler one month earlier.
MS-13 is a violent international street gang comprised primarily of immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. With numerous branches, or “cliques,” the MS-13 is the largest street gang on New York's Long Island.