Four suspected MS-13 gang members detained pending trial

Alleged MS-13 members did not receive bail out of fear that they might be a flight risk and be a danger to the Jamaica community.
Courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s office
By Naeisha Rose

A federal judge has granted a request by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue for the permanent detention of four alleged MS-13 gang members charged with crippling a Jamaica man in 2016.

Shortly after the Aug. 3 arraignment and indictment of Melvi Amador-Rios, 27, Santos Amador-Rios, 31, Yan Carlos Ramirez, 28, and Antonio Salvador,30,, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue asked that the four remain detained, because he believed that they were a “flight risk” and a “danger to the community.”

The court order for permanent detention of the four men was granted by Brooklyn Magistrate Judge Marilyn Go Aug. 3, after Donoghue presented evidence that the men were suspected MS-13 members and would possibly try to flee before a trial date was set.

Donoghue presented eight photographs of the four men displaying MS-13 gang signs, exhibiting MS-13 tattoos and tattoos of the initials of one of its chapters on their body, as well as wearing the blue and white MS-13 colors and standing in front of an MS-13 mural to make his case.

MS-13, formally known as La Mara Salvatrucha, is a violent transnational organization operating throughout Central America and the United States and has its central leadership based in El Salvador, according to Donoghue. MS-13 leaders send out directives to newer members to kill witnesses, rival gang members and defecting members, he added.

The four men were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, assault, racketeering and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence in which a then 16-year-old boy was beaten up on 179th Street and 90th Avenue in Jamaica on Oct. 23, 2016, the U.S. attorney said.

The teenager is a suspected 18th Street gang member from a rival group, according to Donoghue.

The four men allegedly “beat the victim, shot him in the head once and attempted to shoot him a second time as he lay on the ground, but the firearm apparently malfunctioned,” according to Donoghue in his request for detention.

Medical records show the victim was initially paralyzed from the neck down as a result of the gunshot wound, but he is currently a paraplegic.

In a recorded prison call, Melvi Amador-Rios informed the newer members that they “have the pass, you know, to be homeboys,” which means, according to Donoghue, the Jamaica attack made them full-fledged members of MS-13.

“Finally, as noted, the circumstances of the charged crimes and the defendants membership in MS-13 clearly demonstrate that the defendants would pose a significant danger to the community and the witnesses against them if released,” according to the request.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

More from Around New York