2011-03-11 / Front Page

Feds Indict Gang-Banger

By Howard Schwach


A police vehicle stands on the beach where the body of Mario Quijada, who was stabbed to death, was found early on a morning in March of last year. A police vehicle stands on the beach where the body of Mario Quijada, who was stabbed to death, was found early on a morning in March of last year. Twenty-five members of the vicious La Maria Salvatrucha (MS-13) South American street gang were indicted this week in federal court in Islip, Long Island, charged with 70 counts of murder, including the death of Mario Alberto Canton Quijada, 25, of Beach Channel Drive, who was found dead with multiple stab wounds on Beach 12 Street in Far Rockaway on March 17 last year.

Two of the men facing federal trial are Roger Alvarado of Queens and Heriberto Martinez of Central Avenue in Far Rockaway. Those two, along with a third, unindicted man, were found on the beach by police. Police say that uniformed officers on patrol on the boardwalk at about 12:34 a.m. on March 17, 2010, spotted three young men on the beach.

The cops went down on the sand to investigate the three and found Quijada with multiple stab wounds to his body.

An ambulance was called and EMS workers declared him dead at the scene.

The three men on the beach with the body were taken into custody and transported to the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway for questioning.

At the time, local sources conjectured that the murder may have been the result of a fight between rival gang members.

The three men were arrested and transported to Queens Criminal Court for booking.

The three were identified by police as Diego Marroquin, 19, of Mott Avenue; Heriberto Martinez, 23, of Central Avenue and Roger Alvarado, 30, of Queens.

Marroquin and Martinez were charged in Queens Criminal Court with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

State charges against Alvarado were brought later on, according to court sources.

Martinez is charged in the federal indictment with not only the murder of Quijada, but with an earlier murder in Central Islip (Long Island) in which a woman and her two-year-old son were shot and left in a secluded wooded area on the island.

All of the men are charged with a series of violent crimes, including attempted murder, conspiracy to murder rival gang members and assaults that left a number of people badly injured.

Court documents say that MS-13 is a violent street gang, made up primarily of illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

During the past year, more than 120 gang members, including the leaders of the Long Island gang, have been arrested and convicted on federal racketeering and murder charges.

There is a large group in Hempstead (Long Island) and another in Suffolk County.

Police sources say, however, that a clique associated with the gang has moved into Far Rockaway.

MS-13 gang signs were found on Beach 113 Street last year.

If convicted, the indicted men face 20 years and up in prison. Those indicted for murder face life in prison with no parole.

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