MS-13 gangster killed a man for wearing Peyton Manning jersey
A ruthless gangster conspired to kill a man for wearing a Peyton Manning jersey — all to earn respect and raise his status with the MS-13 gang, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Jose Suarez, an associate of the MS-13 Sailors clique, is accused of being the getaway driver in the cold-blooded Jan. 29 killing of Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla in a Long Island deli.
“The only way he could rise up the ranks … was to commit outrageous acts of violence, including murder,” US Assistant Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said during opening arguments in the Central Islip courtroom.
Prosecutors said Suarez, 24, and his associates “marked for death” the victim because he was wearing a Manning number 18 jersey and was suspected of being part of the rival 18th Street gang.
Suarez was the getaway driver and was to “serve as the communications center,” by relaying information back to the leaders, Tierney said.
“He was to wait … he was to let the leader know the hit was on” while the shooter walked into the El Campesino Deli in Central Islip and squeezed off five shots at point-blank range, striking the victim in the head.
The bullet went through the victim’s head and hit a female deli clerk, who survived.
While Alvarado-Bonilla “was taking his last breath, this defendant drove away,” Tierney said.
“It’s about the role this defendant played in helping to hurt people … helping to kill people.”
Suarez has pleaded not guilty for his alleged role in Alvarado-Bonilla’s death. The shooter, Mario Aguilar-Lopez, pleaded guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing.
Suarez is also charged with the caught-on-video assault of two men outside a Brentwood restaurant on Dec. 18, 2016, which prosecutors say he also committed to make a name for himself with MS-13.
“The defendant commits these crimes at least in part of increase or raise his status in the gang,” Tierney said.
An MS-13 gang member turned cooperating witness named German Cruz confirmed in court that Suarez is a member of the Sailors clique.
He said he and Suarez pummeled two men outside the Super Taco restaurant because “They disrespected our gang.”
Suarez’s lawyer, Raymond L. Colon, said the assault was just a “stupid fight amongst a bunch of young, dumb men” and claimed it was not gang-related.
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