Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

DA: MS-13 Gang Members Sentenced to 50 Years to Life for 2017 Long Island Murder of Innocent Man

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What to Know

  • 2 convicted MS-13 gang members were sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life for a fatal shooting in LI in 2017 of innocent man, Nassau DA said
  • Sentences come after Carlos Flores, 26, and Pedro Rivera, 25, were convicted of murder, conspiracy and weapons possession charges Aug. 12
  • 39-year-old Nelson Rodriguez, of Hempstead, was allegedly walking home from his job in an auto body on Front Street when he was shot

Two convicted MS-13 gang members were sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life in prison for a fatal shooting in Long Island in 2017 that claimed the life of an innocent 39-year-old man, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced.

The sentences come after Carlos Flores, 26, and Pedro Rivera, 25, were convicted of murder, conspiracy and weapons possession charges on Aug. 12.

Singas said that on March 20, 2017, the men acting in concert with others – drove from Hempstead to Uniondale looking for a member of the rival 14th Street gang to shoot and kill in retaliation for an assault on an MS-13 member.

The group circled the area several times searching for a member of the 14th Street gang, prosecutors say. Eventually, the group allegedly spotted the victim, 39-year-old Nelson Rodriguez, of Hempstead, who was walking home from his job in an auto body on Front Street. Though Rodriguez was not a member of the 14th Street gang, Flores ordered Rivera – who was armed with a gun – to kill the victim because he was a perceived enemy of MS-13, prosecutors say.

Rivera exited the vehicle and began walking on Front Street towards the victim and when he passed the victim, he allegedly then turned around and shot Rodriguez once in the head. After he fell to the ground, Rivera shot him again in the back.

Multiple witnesses immediately called 911 and the victim was transported to Nassau County University Medical Center where he later died, according to the district attorney’s office.

Following an extensive investigation, Rivera was arrested on July 18, 2017 and Flores was arrested Oct. 19, 2018.

“These MS-13 members murdered an innocent man in cold blood to settle a perceived gang score, and they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for this depraved crime,” Singas said in a statement.

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