AP NEWS

MS-13 member pleads out to charges related to teen’s killing

April 9, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A member of the violent MS-13 gang has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the death of a 16-year-old boy killed by gang members because he was suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.

Federal prosecutors say 24-year-old Nelson Cruz Rodriguez Cartagena pleaded guilty Monday to racketeering conspiracy charges for helping set up the killing of Jose Aguilar Villanueva in a Lawrence park in July 2015.

Prosecutors say Cartagena incorrectly identified the victim as an informant responsible for the arrest of a gang leader, and then helped plan the killing.

Cartagena, native of El Salvador, was arrested in Everett in June 2018 after law enforcement determined he had illegally re-entered the U.S.

He faces up to 20 years in prison followed by deportation at sentencing scheduled for July 9.