Crime and Courts

MS-13 Gang Member Charged in LI Machete Killing Extradited From El Salvador: Feds

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One of the MS-13 gang members allegedly responsible for the gruesome murder of a 15-year-old Long Island boy was extradited from El Salvador to U.S. four years after the killing, prosecutors said Friday.

Eduardo Portillo, 23, formerly of Central Islip and Brentwood, fled the country and was charged with the teen's murder after a federal grand jury indictment was released in May 2018, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York said. Federal prosecutors said Portillo was arrested in El Salvador in Feb. 2019 and had been awaiting extradition to the U.S.

Back in 2016, Portillo and other MS-13 gang members allegedly lured 15-year-old Castillo, also from Central Islip, to an isolated marsh in Freeport on Oct. 10. That's where the group attacked Castillo, "taking turns hacking him with a machete," the attorney's office said.

The prosecutors said it took one year to find where the gang buried Castillo's body. The teen was targeted for being the alleged member of a MS-13 rival gang, the 18th Street gang, officials said.

“Today’s extradition of defendant Portillo demonstrates the resolve of law enforcement to bring to justice all gang members who commits violent crimes in our district no matter where in the world they may run and try to hide,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a press release.

Portillo has been charge with murder and, if convicted, faces up to life in prison. Attorney information for Portillo was not immediately available.

“Bringing Mr. Portillo back to the U.S. to face justice for the heinous murder of a 15-year-old is a big step toward healing a family and community terrorized by MS-13,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

"We hope people see this action as a sign that the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and our partners are not slowing down in our resolve to dismantle MS-13," Sweeney added.

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