Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in a case against a Long Island MS-13 gang member charged with seven murders.
According to the New York Post, Jairo Saenz, 24, also known as Funny, could be executed if convicted for his involvement in any of the murders.
According to the indictment filed in a Central Islip federal court, Saenz is named the second-in-command of the Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside clique. He is charged in connection to the murders of Michel Johnson, Oscar Acosta, Kayla, Cuevas, Nisa Mickens, Javier Castillo, Dewann Stacks, and Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla.
Mickens, 15, and Cuevas, 16, were severely beaten with baseball bats and hacked to death with machetes in 2016 while on their way home from school in the Brentwood area of Long Island. The brutal crime sparked outrage and garnered national attention.
“They come from Central America. They’re tougher than any people you’ve ever met,” then president-elect Donald Trump told Time about the gang violence happening on Long Island. “They’re killing and raping everybody out there. They’re illegal. And they are finished.”
While in jail, Saenz has been accused of participating in attacks on other inmates, assaulting corrections officers, and attempting to identify anyone cooperating in the case to retaliate, according to the filings.
Over the summer, prosecutors announced that they also intend to seek the death penalty against Saenz’s brother, Alexi.
The MS-13 street gang is believed to be responsible for more than 30 murders across Long Island since 2016.