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MS-13 gangster is convicted of murdering eight in a year on Long Island – including two schoolgirls DA says killer’s hands are ‘drenched with blood’

An MS-13 gang leader has been convicted of ordering or carrying out the murders of eight people in just one year on Long Island, including two schoolgirls.

Alexi Saenz, 29, also known as “Blasty” and “Big Homie,” pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering charges in the 2016 series of killings. His attorney read a statement in which he admitted that Saenz ordered or approved the killings of rival gang members.

He also confessed to arson, weapons offenses, and drug trafficking, the proceeds of which were used to purchase more weapons and drugs and contributed to the larger MS-13 operation.

Saenz’s victims included Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15 — two lifelong friends whose murders raised awareness of the growing gang problem in the United States.

Saenz said he was not present when the two teens were killed, but that he had made phone calls to other gang members planning the attack.

Alexi Saenz, 29, also known as

Alexi Saenz, 29, also known as “Blasty” and “Big Homie,” pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering charges stemming from a series of 2016 murders

Kayla Cuevas, 16, allegedly got into an online altercation with several members of the MS-13 gang before she was killed

Kayla Cuevas, 16, allegedly got into an online altercation with several members of the MS-13 gang before she was killed

Nisa Mickens, 15, was walking through the neighborhood on September 13, 2016 when she was murdered

Nisa Mickens, 15, was walking through the neighborhood on September 13, 2016 when she was murdered

Among Saenz’s victims were Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15 — two lifelong friends who were murdered as they walked through their neighborhood on Sept. 13, 2016

The high school students were walking through their suburb of Brentwood, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of New York City, on September 13, 2016, when they were attacked by a group of young men and teenage boys who hacked and beat them to death.

Cuevas’ body was almost unrecognizable after the disaster.

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Prosecutors say the attack occurred after Cuevas got into an online altercation with several members of the MS-13 gang and their associates.

The animosity reached a boiling point in a brawl at Brentwood High School, which prosecutors say prompted the gang to “give Cuevas the green light, meaning they gave permission to kill her.” reports the New York Post.

After the killings, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump called for those involved to be sentenced to death, blaming the violence on lax immigration policies.

The girls' murders have raised awareness of the growing gang problem in the United States

The girls' murders have raised awareness of the growing gang problem in the United States

The girls’ murders have raised awareness of the growing gang problem in the United States

The girls’ deaths also raised questions about whether Long Island police had been aggressive enough in combating the gangs that were emerging in local high schools.

For months in 2016, Hispanic children and young men disappeared in Brentwood. Later, Brentwood police discovered the bodies of three other teens, ages 15, 18 and 19, who had been reported missing months earlier.

Saenz admitted in federal court Wednesday to roles in six other murders and three attempted murders.

Among them was Javier Castillo, 15, of Central Islip, who prosecutors say was friends with some of the gang, but was driven 30 miles west to Freeport, where he was fatally attacked with a machete in a remote swamp.

His body was found a year later.

Another victim was Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, 29, who was killed by a gunman at a deli in Central Islip

Another victim was Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, 29, who was killed by a gunman at a deli in Central Islip

Another victim was Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, 29, who was killed by a gunman at a deli in Central Islip

Oscar Acosta, 19, was also lured by gang members to smoke marijuana in a wooded area, where he was beaten to death with tree branches and hacked to death with a machete. His body was found near a railroad track just days after Cuevas and Mickens were killed.

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Michael Johnson, 29, was lured to his death in a similar manner to Acosta and attacked from behind. Gang members beat him with a baseball bat, stabbed him with a knife and took turns beating him with a machete.

Other victims include Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, 29, who was killed by a gunman at a Central Islip deli; Dewann Stacks, 34, who was robbed and beaten to death as he walked along a road in Brentwood, near a wooded area the gang sometimes used as a meeting spot; and Marcus Bohannon, 27, who was shot nine times.

“To say that Alexi Saenz’s hands are soaked in blood does not begin to describe the numerous murders and extreme chaos that he personally directed and caused in Suffolk County over the course of one year,” said Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Saenz was eventually arrested in 2017 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with a dozen other members of his Long Island gang.

Saenz was eventually arrested in 2017 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with a dozen other members of his Long Island gang.

Saenz was eventually arrested in 2017 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with a dozen other members of his Long Island gang.

Saenz was eventually arrested in 2017 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with a dozen other members of his Long Island gang, nicknamed Sailors Locos Savatruchas Westside.

Prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty in the case, but U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered local prosecutors to drop their intention to seek the death penalty. according to ABC 7.

Under the settlement, Saenz faces up to 70 years in prison.

However, prosecutors have indicated they reserve the right to withdraw the agreement before sentencing if his brother, Jairo Saenz — who was reportedly the gang’s second-in-command — does not also agree to a plea deal before Alexi’s sentencing in late January.

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The charges against the brother are still pending.

Charges against his brother, Jairo Saenz, are still pending

Charges against his brother, Jairo Saenz, are still pending

Charges against his brother, Jairo Saenz, are still pending

Meanwhile, the victims’ families have expressed mixed feelings about Saenz’s settlement.

George Johnson, the father of Michael Johnson, noted that he saw no remorse or emotion from Saenz as he sat in federal court Wednesday to plead guilty to the charges. He argued that “he should die in prison.”

“It seemed like he just wanted to get this over with,” he said.

Freddy Cuevas, Kayla’s father, also said he was disappointed that the death penalty was off the table.

“He’s an animal. He’s inhuman,” Cuevas said of Saenz.

“Hopefully justice will be done soon and we can put all of this behind us as far as the families are concerned.”

Nisa’s mother, Elizabeth Alvarado, expressed relief that she and the other families did not have to go through the trauma of a lawsuit.

“I was just my daughter so I could live in peace,” she said through tears, wearing a black shirt with her daughter’s name on the back.

“The longer we are gone, the more peace she will find,” Alvarado explained.

“In the end she’ll be happy because it’s all over.”

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