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Four MS-13 gang members indicted in murder of Far Rockaway mother found in car: Feds

murder
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Four MS-13 gang members were charged Tuesday, March 22, in the brutal murder of a Far Rockaway mother last April, according to federal prosecutors.

Anander Henriquez-Avila, 29, Allan Lopez-Villeda, 23, Jose Sarmiento-Valeriano, 22 and Rigel Yohario Velasquez-Mancia, 21, all of Far Rockaway, are accused of killing Nazareth Claure, 31, on April 11, 2021.

The mother of an 8-year-old son was allegedly beaten over several hours with a baseball bat and hacked by a machete, according to federal prosecutors. Her body recovered from the trunk of a car two days later.

According to charges, in the early morning hours of April 14, 2021, officers from the 101st Precinct spotted the men placing a large object inside the trunk of a Nissan Altima sedan parked in front of Foam Place in Far Rockaway. The men then piled into the sedan and began to drive away. The officers followed and conducted a car stop with agents from Homeland Security Investigations in the vicinity of Nassau Expressway and Bayview Avenue. EMS responded to the scene and declared Claure dead.

The four gang members are awaiting their arraignment and were named in a superseding indictment that was unsealed in federal court in Central Islip, Long Island on Tuesday, March 22, charging 11 MS-13 gang members with racketeering conspiracy.

“The significant federal charges in the superseding indictment, including the brutal murder of a mother whose body was wrapped in trash bags, underscores the cruel depravity and senseless violence of the MS-13 gang,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “With this indictment and additional arrests, this office has taken another step in seeking justice for the murder victim and her family, and we will not rest until the threat of the MS-13 gang is eliminated for good from our communities.”

Peace thanked the Queens District Attorney’s office for their work on the investigations. The four gang members were indicted in Queens Supreme Court last May and now face federal charges in connection with Claure’s murder.

“As alleged, the savagery and brutality of the crimes committed by some of the individuals named in the indictment is beyond comprehension and involves the murder of a young woman, who was wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the trunk of a car like an object instead of a young mother and human being,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Ricky J. Patel. “Today’s superseding indictment and arrests send a clear message that violent gang members who commit such deplorable and cowardly crimes against humanity will be tracked down and held accountable for their actions.”

Since 2010, the Eastern District of New York has obtained indictments charging MS-13 gang members with carrying out more than 60 murders and has convicted more than 100 of the gang’s leaders and members in connection with those murders.

“Today’s announcement highlights the NYPD’s commitment to working with all of its law enforcement partners to dismantle transnational organizations like MS-13 which routinely use violence and intimidation to prey on vulnerable communities,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “By contributing our unique capabilities to this joint effort, the NYPD continues to remove vicious gang members from the streets of New York and protect the people we serve from unthinkable harm alleged in this indictment.”

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