Three reputed MS-13 street gang members have been indicted on charges that they murdered a 57-year-old man when he interrupted them robbing the Brentwood grocery store where he worked three years ago.
Joyser “Baby Boy” Velasquez, 28, Francisco “Spoiler” Ponce, 30, and a third suspect whose name was not released were set to be arraigned Friday at federal court in Central Islip.
Federal prosecutors said the trio shot and killed Miguel Peralta when they allegedly held up Los Hermanos Grocery on Timberline Drive in September 2009.
“So long as MS-13 and other gangs pose a threat to public safety, the efforts of the FBI and the [Long Island Gang Task Force] will persist,” said Mary Galligan, FBI acting assistant director of the New York Field office.
Velasquez, Ponce and the third suspect were among 11 alleged MS-13 members named in the 50-count indictment. Velasquez and Ponce, who were previously charged with several other robberies, were also accused of the Dec. 27, 2009 armed robbery of a Burger King in Bay Shore.
Indicted on attempted murder charges was 21-year-old Edwin “Scooby” Hernandez, who authorities said shot and wounded two men believed to be members of the rival Bloods street gang on Clift Street in Central Islip on Oct. 23, 2011. The motive is believed to be a gang initiation.
Three other suspected gang members were charged in the indictment with another six robberies early this year.
The trio includes Edwin “Scarface” Acosta-Martinez, 23, Mario Rodriguez-Chinchilla, 24, and Walter “Wilmer” Velasquez-Cruz, 27.
Prosecutors said they committed robberies at the Lempa Deli in Central Islip on Jan. 4, the Off the Track Quick Mart in Babylon on Jan. 6, the Iglesia Universal Church in Brentwood on Jan. 11, the Chapi Deli in Huntington Station on Jan. 26, the Mi Tierrita restaurant in Brentwood on Feb. 13 and Health-Mart Pharmacy in Bay Shore on Feb. 28.
The other four suspects include 22-year-old Jose “Fosforo” Alvarenga, who authorities had identified as the leader of the Brentwood chapter of MS-13. He, 19-year-old Jonathan “Bam Bam” Ayala, 24-year-old Edwin “Trece” Molina and 21-year-old Hector “Smiley” Torres are not facing any new charges in the indictment, which supersedes one from January.
All face sentences of up to life in federal prison. Alvarenga, Ponce, Torres, Velasquez, Molina and the unidentified suspect face the possible death penalty.