Juan Lopez of Huntington Station, 32, was convicted by a jury of Attempted Coercion in the First Degree.
Central Islip, NY - August 1, 2018 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced that an MS-13 gang member who used the threat of violence in an effort to recruit new members for the gang has been sentenced to the maximum prison sentence for the coercion attempt.
“Today’s sentence sends a significant message to MS-13 gang members that if they try to threaten the lives of young people in our community or intimidate them to get them to join this gang, we will send them to prison,” District Attorney Sini said. “My office will keep the pressure on MS-13 and continue to find innovative and strategic ways to prosecute gang members to get them off our streets.”
Juan Lopez, 32, of Huntington Station, was convicted by a jury of Attempted Coercion in the First Degree, an E felony, on April 9. He was sentenced today by Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho to the maximum sentence of one and one-third to four years in prison.
At approximately 1 p.m. on April 16, 2017, Lopez and several other alleged MS-13 gang members approached two young men at Manor Field Park in Huntington Station in an attempt to recruit them to join MS-13. The incident occurred five days after the murder of four young men near a park in Central Islip by alleged MS-13 gang members.
When the targets of the recruitment attempt resisted, the defendant said to them, “This is how you end up dead in the park.”
Lopez was arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department on April 17, 2017.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Deirdre Horney, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau’s Gang Unit. The Gang Unit was launched in January 2018 by District Attorney Sini to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by gang members, such as members of MS-13.