An alleged MS-13 associate from Elmhurst was indicted for murder in the notorious murder of a 17-year-old in Flushing’s Kissena Park, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
A superseding indictment was returned Thursday, March 25, in Brooklyn federal court charging Oscar Flores-Mejia, 21, with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the 2018 killing of Queens teenager Andy Peralta.
“After allegedly helping to torture and murder the teenage victim, the defendant leaned over his lifeless body and displayed the MS-13 hand sign, openly revealing his presence at the scene and linking MS-13 to this horrific crime,” Acting U.S. Attorney Mark J. Lesko said. “This office and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners will not rest until the senseless brutality and violence of MS-13 has been eliminated and those responsible for the victim’s cruel and cold-blooded murder in Kissena Park have been held to account.”
According to court filings, Peralta was lured into Kissena Park on the evening of April 23, 2018, where he was ambushed in a wooded area by Flores-Mejia and two others. Peralta was believed to be a member of the 18th Street gang. The victim had a tattoo of a crown on his chest which the defendant mistakenly believed to be a symbol of a rival gang. Peralta was repeatedly slashed, stabbed, beaten and strangled.
“The heinous details of the Flores-Mejia case and his alleged involvement in the ruthless murder of a teen in 2018 is on par with MS-13’s core values of extreme violence and control,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said. “Transnational criminal street gangs like MS-13 serve only to terrorize our communities and prey upon our most vulnerable youth who are often left with little choice, join the gang to face the consequences. This unfair choice ends one of two ways, death or jail. In facing this threat, HSI continues to work with its federal and local law enforcement partners to arrest and prosecute those who commit senseless violence while simultaneously working with our communities to offer a better option, a chance for a future.”
The charges are the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York targeting members of MS-13, also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, and its leadership in El Salvador and Honduras. The gang has thousands of members across the U.S. comprised mainly of immigrants from Central America.
Flores-Mejia was arrested on a criminal complaint in February and he will be arraigned at a later date.
“The federal indictment announced today answers for an unspeakably violent crime and sends a message that gangs like La Mara Salvatrucha can never be tolerated,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “I commend our NYPD detectives, our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for bringing this important case.”