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MS-13 Leader Pleads Guilty For Killing 8, Including Pair Of Teen Girls

According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, MS-13 gang leader Alexi Saenz, known by the nicknames “Blasty” and “Pranky,” pleaded guilty Wednesday in New York federal court to eight murder-related racketeering charges.

Saenz, 29, who led the Westside chapter of the notorious Sailors Locos Salvatruchas gang, also pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder, arson, drug trafficking and firearms charges, the Justice Department said in a statement. Said. (RELATED: Feds arrest alleged international gang leader)

According to the Department of Justice, the series of murders commissioned by Saenz took place between 2016 and 2017 and resulted in the brutal murders of two high school girls. According to a press release, gang members received permission from Saenz to kill the girls. The gang bludgeoned 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas to death with baseball bats and machetes, the Department of Justice said.

“To say that Alexi Saenz has blood on his hands is an insufficient description of the numerous murders and immense mayhem he personally orchestrated and perpetrated over the course of a year in Suffolk County,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a press release.

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of our prosecutors and members of the Long Island Gang Task Force, MS-13 has been disrupted across the District, and we will continue to work tirelessly to hold all members of these violent gangs accountable for the crimes they commit and the harm they cause,” the prosecutor added.

Under the plea agreement, Saenz faces a possible sentence of 40 to 70 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice, which has withdrawn its intention to seek the death penalty in response to Saenz's plea deal, CBS News reported. report.

The gang leader's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2025, according to the outlet. MS-13 is a notorious gang formed in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants who fled their country's civil war, the outlet reported, citing the Department of Justice.

“I just want [justice] “If they don't do it, they have to pay for it and the other family, we can't move forward,” Mickens' mother, Elizabeth Alvarado, told ABC 7. report.

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