Police: MS-13 member who killed teen, dumped body in woods arrested

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MINEOLA -

Police say they've arrested an MS-13 gang member who killed an 18-year-old from Uniondale and dumped his body in Massapequa Preserve.

Stanley Gerson Juarez, 22, of Hempstead, has been in jail for more than a year for crimes allegedly committed as part of MS-13. He was brought back to court Tuesday to face a murder charge.

Prosecutors say Juarez is one of several people who lured Bryan Steven Lemus to Massapequa Preserve in August 2016 and hacked him to death with a machete. Authorities say Lemus was marked for death over his affiliation with a particular gang clique.

Lemus' remains were unearthed at the preserve over Memorial Day weekend.

"They take their own from their own community, they hack them, stab them, decapitate them, cut their limbs off and bury them in shallow graves," Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Watch Tuesday's news conference on the arrest:

Ryder says Juarez is the 25th person arrested in connection with 12 MS-13 homicides committed in 2016 and 2017 in Nassau County. Seven of those victims, including Lemus, were buried in shallow graves across Nassau. Many of them were dug up after police received tips from informants on their locations.

In this case, police learned that Lemus was buried in the preserve after the 2017 discovery of another body there -- that of 18-year-old Julio Cesar Espantsay. It took several digs over the past year to find Lemus.

News 12 spoke with Lemus' mother by phone Tuesday. She says she's in great pain but is glad an arrest has been made.

Juarez is already facing charges for two shootings. He will be sentenced next week for a machete attack in Hempstead Lake State Park. He was held without bail Tuesday.

Read more:
Police ID remains recovered from woods as Uniondale 18-year-old
Nassau PBA chief: More detectives needed to eradicate MS-13
Police find human remains in Massapequa Preserve

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