Two reputed teenage gang members from Suffolk County have been accused in the December 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Central Islip man 10 months after a third teen was linked to the case.
New York State police arrested Juan “Titanic” Gomez of Brentwood and Wilmer “Chewey” Zuniga of Central Islip, both 18, on charges of second-degree murder.
Police said the two men shot and killed fellow gang member Leodan Bonilla. Onan Chica, 17, also of Central Islip, was apprehended in July.
“We believe all three subjects were directly involved in the homicide,” Major Patrick Regan, commander of Troop L, told reporters outside state police barracks in Farmingdale on Thursday morning. “We believe it was the result of an internal conflict within the gang.”
Regan said the suspects and the victim were all members of MS-13, one of the largest and most violent gangs on Long Island. He declined to discuss the nature of the conflict that led to the shooting.
Police linked all three suspects to the crime with physical evidence gathered over the course of the 14-month investigation, Regan said. He noted that public fear of the gang made it difficult to generate leads in the case.
Contractors found Bonilla’s body on Dec. 2, 2010 in a wooded Southern State Parkway embankment in North Bay Shore. Police did not release his identity or cause of death until Chica’s arrest seven months later.
Chica pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in August. He is being held without bail at Suffolk County jail and is due back in court Wednesday.
Gomez and Zuniga will be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip. Both men have prior arrests due to their gang activity, police said.