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Police say MS-13 member charged in 2 Long Island killings

June 7, 2019

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say an MS-13 gang member has been charged with murder in the deaths of two men whose bodies were found in a heavily wooded area of Long Island.

Newsday reports that 19-year-old Raul Ponce was arraigned on murder charges Thursday in the deaths of Bryan Steven Cho Lemus and Julio Espantzay-Gonzalez.

Ponce’s attorney, David Haber, entered a not-guilty plea on Ponce’s behalf. Haber said he had no further comment Friday.

Lemus’ remains were found in the Massapequa Preserve last month. The body was found near where Espantzay-Gonzalez’s remains were found in March 2017.

Police say the killings of Lemus and Espantzay-Gonzalez were among a dozen MS-13 homicides committed in Nassau County in 2016 and 2017. Some 25 alleged gang members have been arrested in the murders.

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