Enrique Portillo, a 26-year-old MS-13 gang member, pleaded guilty on Thursday, August 31st, for his involvement in the deaths of four individuals, including two teenage girls assaulted seven years ago in their suburban Long Island community.
In a statement, Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said, “Today, the defendant pleaded guilty to participating in four extremely brutal murders, including two teenage girls slaughtered while walking home….This Office will not rest until all MS-13 gang members are held to account for their utter lack of respect for human life and the rule of law.”
On the evening of September 13, 2016, two Brentwood High School girls, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, were violently assaulted with baseball bats and machetes in an alleged retaliation due to their perceived disrespect of the gang.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justina Geraci detailed in Central Islip federal court, “The defendant and others chased and attacked them with baseball bats and machetes.”
Portillo recounted the horrifying events to the court wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit. He described being in a vehicle with other members of the Long Island branch of the MS-13 gang when they spotted the girls.
“I used a bat to hit one of the girls. I also hit the second girl,” he conveyed through his attorney.
Upon discovery, the prosecution noted the victims bore multiple cuts and had severe blunt-force injuries to their heads and bodies.
Attorney Peace emphasized Portillo’s motivations: “As part of his desire to gain status within MS-13, Portillo acted with complete disregard for human life, killing four individuals along with multiple other attempts.”
In addition to the teenage girls, Portillo, known by the aliases “Oso” and “Turkey,” confessed to the murders of Dewann Stacks and Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, both presumed to be rival gang members.
Portillo also admitted to an arson act and four counts of attempted murder, including an assault on two inmates using shanks at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. His defense highlighted his non-cooperation with federal agencies, citing fears of prison retaliation.
The charges against Portillo could result in a life sentence for racketeering and a minimum of 10 years for firearms offenses.