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Former MS-13 gang member sentenced for 2016 murder and shootings in Brentwood

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A former MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 30 years in prison for their role in a 2016 murder on Long Island.

Prosecutors said Carlos Argueta orchestrated the killing of fellow gang member Jose Pena. Argueta and other teenagers stabbed Pena to death with knives because he was believed to be a police informant and gay. Pena’s body was found on the grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital in Brentwood.

Argueta pleaded down to racketeering charges in July 2019.

Part of his sentencing was also the attempted murder of a rival gang member in broad daylight outside the Brentwood public library in January 2016. Argueta also pleaded guilty to the charges in 2019.

The now 22-year-old, known for his violence as the former leader of the Freeport Locos Salvatruchas clique of MS-13, which operated in Suffolk County, had apologized to Pena’s mother and his own in federal court last week.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.